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Stunners at lunch: Trades and more fun to come

Minny Ha Ha. So there we were today, on the fifth floor of the Walker Art Gallery, in a room with angles and windows that made things seems slightly off kilter.

At the table having a quick lunch were: My Newsday colleague Katie Strang, waiting for some of the top prospects to arrive for interviews two floors below; Postie Larry Brooks and The Record's Tom Gullitti.

Things really went further off kilter when the Blackberrys and I-phones starting buzzing and rattling and vibrating.  Flyers trade Carter; quickly followed by rumors that Mike Richards was on the block, followed by that trade to L.A. and then Ilya Bryzgalov's nine-year contract with Philly. Whew.

First reaction: If you were planning to relax, not the best day to be a beat writer in Cheesesteak City.  Not sure which was more shocking: the shakeup on Broad Street or the downtown theater marquee announcing the show on Saturday night: Jethro Tull. ("Sitting on a park bench..." ) Alas, will be winging my way East at the time... 

Eventually drove back to the hotel in the Depot district, and sent out a flurry of Tweets and am trying to sort this all out. Sure seems like the locker room was a problem in Philly, as was rumored.  Pronger's the man now, Bryz should help short-term, but losing captain Richards and Carter is very tough to swallow. Simmonds a fine get, but....wowzer.  

And what does this all mean in the chase for Brad Richards, whose agent said he will not waive his no-trade clause? Perhaps it's good news for Rangers fans who want a No. 1 C and a boost on the PP.  Kings are out of the running, and maybe the Leafs and Flyers, too. Maybe they know Richards and Torts are destined for a reunion.  And you know what, the draft situation remains in flux. Sense in town is that more pre-draft deals expected tomorrow. 

More on the 2011-12 schedule in the next post.  Not so bad for a travelling man. Will say I'm looking forward to the trips to Phoenix and Chicago...




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