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Flyers headed in new direction with roster revamp

Philadelphia Flyers' Richards celebrates his game-winning goal against Ottawa Senators with teammate Carter during their NHL hockey game in
Philadelphia Flyers' Richards celebrates his game-winning goal against Ottawa Senators with teammate Carter during their NHL hockey game in

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Philadelphia Flyers revamped their roster on Thursday with a trio of high-profile roster changes that included trading away captain Mike Richards and high-scoring center Jeff Carter.

By dealing Richards and Carter in trades announced within 30 minutes of each other, the Flyers were able to clear enough cap space to sign free agent goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, filling a void between the posts the team has dealt with for years.

The Flyers acquired rights to negotiate with Bryzgalov last week from the Phoenix Coyotes and the 31-year-old Russian agreed to a $51 million deal over nine years, according to a report on the National Hockey League's website.

The signing of Bryzgalov, who went 36-20-10 with a 2.48 goals-against average for the Coyotes last season, capped a furious day of deal making for the Flyers.

Richards, who tied for third in team scoring with 66 points last season, was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forwards Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Carter, who scored a team-high 36 goals to go along with his 30 assists, was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets for right wing Jakub Voracek and the team's first and third-round picks in this week's draft.

Simmonds, the Kings' second round pick in 2007, recorded 30 points in 80 games last season while Schenn, drafted fifth overall by Los Angeles in 2009, had two points in eight games.

Voracek had 46 points in 80 games for a Blue Jackets team that finished third-last in the Western Conference.

For the Flyers, the two trades follow a season where they finished second overall in the Eastern Conference but fell in the second round of the playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

(Reporting by Steve Keating and Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Julian Linden)

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