After Gauthier trade, former players, Philly villain share thoughts on playing for Flyers

After Gauthier trade, former players, Philly villain share thoughts on playing for Flyers originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

It has been quite a hectic week for the Flyers … and it’s only Tuesday.

In addition to falling short against the Penguins Monday night at home — the organization stunned everyone by trading one of their top prospects, Cutter Gauthier, to the Ducks in exchange for Jamie Drysdale and a second-round pick in the 2025 draft.

Given Gauthier’s strong run in recent weeks during World Juniors that ultimately helped USA to a gold medal, the news spread like wildfire throughout the league and became the hottest topic of conversation.

Why did the Flyers move on from one of their top prospects? And why did they choose to do so right now?

“It was a long time coming,” Flyers general manager Danny Briere said during the first intermission of Monday night’s game. “It has been going on for a while. We tried to give him space, we tried to get in touch with him many times. They would not communicate. … At some point, we have to make a decision. We thought with what happened just a few days ago, this was our time to probably get the highest value.”

More: Flyers forced to trade top prospect Cutter Gauthier to Ducks

It was a quote-heavy evening from current players, the front office and head coach John Tortorella, but it was also interesting to hear what former players had to say on the topic of not wanting to play in Philadelphia.

Scott Hartnell, who played for the Flyers for seven seasons, shared his thoughts about Gauthier on Intermission Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“Why would you force someone to come here when there’s a little animosity,” Hartnell said. “For him being a little bit maybe sour or bitter because he didn’t get signed last summer, he wanted to play in the NHL. Danny Briere thought it would be better for him to go back and get another year of development there at [Boston University].”

A major move in the middle of the first period. Sure, why not? 👀

Our Intermission Live crew discusses the Flyers trading Cutter Gauthier:

— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 9, 2024

“A kid doesn’t want to be there, hasn’t played an NHL game yet, he’s thinking he’s something else to call where he can be playing,” Hartnell continued in a separate segment. “And Flyers did a great job of keeping it on the downlow and getting a great return in Drysdale.

“[Philadelphia] is one of the best organizations in the NHL.”

Zac Rinaldo, who was drafted by the Flyers in 2008 and played in parts of four seasons with the club, also shared his opinions:

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Image credit: X

Things have been stirring so much that even Matthew Barnaby, someone who has played in enemy territory, had to chime in.

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An all-time Philly villain sticking up for the organization.

While there is still much to be sorted out in terms of why Gauthier did not want to sign in Philly, it’s apparent that it’s an unpopular opinion.

Philly is simple. If you come in, play hard and give it your all, the city will root for you no matter what. And if you don’t? Well, you can check in with players like Ben Simmons and see how that worked out.

Now, everyone is fully anticipating to circle the calendar for next season when the Flyers host the Ducks.

What a turn of events.

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