Yesterday I wrote about the column written by Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News. In the column Gross states that Mike Richards and Jeff Carter’s “hard-partying ways” played a “major role” in getting them traded.
Some have attacked me for being naive to the whole situation. In the article yesterday, I said Flyers fans aren’t shocked to hear about Richards and Carter partying. I was merely calling out Gross for blaming it all on “Dry Island.”
Yes, it is alarming to think that the captain and leading goal scorer refused to participate in what can be seen as a team building activity. However, as GM Paul Holmgren stated, they weren’t the only ones to not participate. To think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back is ridiculous.
We’ve all heard the rumors about Richards and Carter, the rumors that they not only partied hard, but often. Also, the rumors of fornicating with teammates significant others, and heavy alcohol and drug use have swirled around the two.
I’m not naive to these rumors. However, rumors are rumors, and when they are about a players personal life I won’t comment on them unless they are proven. In situations like this, I have not and will not use “unnamed sources” or take a quote from some dude who knows a guy, who saw Richie and Carts doing blow.
The NHL’s drug testing policy isn’t has stringent as most professional leagues, but it’s hard to believe a player with a serious drug habit wouldn’t come up positive at some point. In the NHL a player can be randomly tested up to three times a year starting after training camp. If a player had a drug habit that was affecting his on-ice performance, chances are that player would be doing enough to eventually come up positive on a test.
It’s clear that the Flyers trades of Richards and Carter weren’t strictly “hockey moves.” However, the majority of the complaints about the two happened earlier in their careers. No one seemed to complain about them when they made their cup run in the 2009-10 season. It all came crashing down after attacks from the media on Richards. And while Jeff Carter may have been the Flyers leading goal scorer he was injury-prone and wildly inconsistent. So, personal problems aside, the Flyers went in a different direction.
I’ll never say that Richards and Carter’s “nightlife” didn’t have anything to do with them being traded. However, I won’t jump to conclusions over a “gossip” column or rush to report a rumor from someone who claims to have seen their behavior first hand. These kinds of stories have been a part of Flyers hockey from the Broad Street Bullies, to Lindros and Brind’amour, and now with Richards and Carter. They won’t be going away anytime soon, with social media and the ability to know when things happen immediately. Though, if it’s gossip you’re looking for, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you want Flyers news and analysis of on-the-ice issues, check back on the regular.
Recommended reading: Check out John Russo’s take on Mike Richards and “Dry Island,” “You were no captain, my captain”