The Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings never had much of an on-ice rivalry, despite NBCSN trying to force it upon us for years during their miscast “Wednesday Night Rivalry” series through much of the 2010’s. The most notorious on-ice meeting between the teams came during the 1997 Stanley Cup Final when Detroit would sweep the Flyers in an embarrassing series for the Broad Street Bullies.
Of the ice, the teams were relatively frequent trade partners before the turn of the millennium. In the 20 years since, they have crafted just three deals, all memorable for different reasons.
10/1/67 – Dick Sarrazin for cash
The first trade between the two teams was the second ever trade in Flyers’ history.
Dick Sarrazin was a depth forward who never actually played with the Red Wings. He was acquired by the Flyers during their inaugural season, but wouldn’t suit up for the team until the following year. He scored 16 goals and 46 points, both stats good enough for third on the Flyers. He was used sparingly in the NHL over the following two seasons and demoted to the AHL for a majority of that time. He would leave the Flyers during the 1972 World Hockey Association entry draft.
5/15/73 – Serge Lajeunesse for Rick Foley
Lajeunesse was primarily an AHL-level defenseman who played three seasons in the Red Wings’ system and another three with the Flyers’ before retiring in 1976. He played six NHL games in Philly.
Rick Foley was a defenseman who was also an AHL/NHL tweener. He played 58 games with the Flyers before the trade and only seven with the Red Wings after.
2/17/77 – Rick Lapointe and Mike Korney for Terry Murray, Bob Ritchie, Steve Coates and Dave Kelly
Lapointe was a fifth overall pick by the Red Wings in 1975. He spent two seasons with the Red Wings, and was the crown jewel of this trade.
Mike Korney was a journeyman defenseman who spent most of his playing days in the AHL.
Terry Murray was a veteran defenseman who filled Lapointe’s roster spot for the remainder of the 1976-77 season, but ultimately returned to the Flyers’ organization during the early part of the 1977-78 season.
Bob Ritchie was a forward prospect who would only play 28 NHL games with the Red Wings over the following two seasons before retiring in 1978.
Steve Coates was an undrafted forward who spent four seasons in the Flyers’ AHL system. He played just five NHL games with the Red Wings before returning to the AHL where he played until 1980.
Dave Kelly was a forward prospect, who signed as a free agent with the Flyers in 1975. He played 16 games with the Red Wings during 1967-77. He retired in 1978.
11/1/77 – Terry Murray for cash
Murray returned to the Flyers organization nine months after he was dealt away. He would play parts of four more seasons with the Flyers as a player, and upon his retirement from hockey in 1982, he’d rejoin the franchise as a coach, most famously remembered for assembling the “Legion of Doom” in 1995.
9/4/79 – 1981 fourth round pick (Dave Michaylak) for Dennis Sobchuk
Dennis Sobchuk, a center, was the Flyers’ fifth round pick in 1974, though he opted to join the World Hockey Association out of juniors. His NHL rights were traded to Detroit, where he’d play 33 games during the 1979-80 season. He’d play two more NHL games with the Quebec Nordiques the following season before retiring.
The Flyers drafted forward Dave Michayluk in the fourth round of 1981. He played two seasons within the organization and just 13 games in the NHL. He would later win a Cup with the Penguins in 1992 despite only playing seven games with the club.
1/8/84 – futures for Rick MacLeish
MacLeish is best remembered as a member of the Cup-winning Flyers’ teams throughout the 1970’s, but was originally traded away to Hartford in 1981. Over a decade into his career, he was no longer the same player he used to be, so when he returned to Philly as a free agent for the 1983-84 season, it was a big disappointment. He was dealt to the Red Wings in January where he’d finish out the 1983-84 season before retiring during the summer.
10/10/84 – Joe Paterson and Murray Craven for Darryl Sittler
In one of the better forgotten trades in Flyers’ history, the Flyers got a king’s ransom for aging forward Darryl Sittler.
Joe Paterson was a forward prospect who bounced around the Red Wings’ organization for the previous four seasons. He’d play two seasons with the Flyers’ organization, mainly in the AHL, before being traded to the Kings in 1986.
Murray Craven was the Red Wings’ first round pick in 1982 and had played parts of two seasons with the Red Wings. Upon landing in Philadelphia, he became one of their best forwards, recording 26 goals and 61 points during his first season with the club. He played eight seasons total in Philly, racking up 424 points in 523 games.
Darryl Sittler’s exit from Philly wasn’t exactly pretty. He was under the impression the Flyers were about to name him captain on the eve of the 1984-85 season, but at the press conference, Bobby Clarke announced this trade to the Red Wings. Sittler would later describe the incident as the “biggest disappointment of my life.” He played the 1984-85 season in Detroit before retiring.
6/13/87 – Mark Laforest for 1987 second round pick (Bob Wilkie)
Mark Laforest was an undrafted goaltender who spent five seasons with the Red Wings, playing predominantly in the AHL during that time. He was traded to the Flyers, where he’d play two seasons bouncing between the NHL and AHL, overall playing 38 games in a Flyers jersey. He was traded to the Maple Leafs for a pair of draft picks in September of 1989.
The Red Wings drafted defenseman Bob Wilkie 41st overall in 1987. He’d play eight games with the Red Wings in the NHL, eventually being reacquired by the Flyers.
10/1/92 – Brent Fedyk for 1993 fourth round pick (Charles Paquette)
Brent Fedyk was an NHL/AHL tweener forward with the Red Wings for five seasons. He was acquired by the Flyers in this trade and would play four seasons in the NHL for the club. He is best remembered as one-third of the “Crazy Eights” Line with Eric Lindros and Mark Recchi in 1992-93.
The Flyers would reacquire this pick in a future trade less than a year later.
2/2/93 – Bob Wilkie for futures
Bob Wilkie was a second round pick by the Red Wings in 1987 and was a well traveled AHL defense journeyman. He played eight NHL games with the Red Wings during the 1990-91 season. He was dealt to the Flyers where he’d play 10 more NHL games before being sent to the AHL yet again. He was later traded by the Flyers to the Blackhawks for a draft pick in 1995.
6/20/93 – Jim Cummins and 1993 fourth round pick (Charles Paquette) for rights to Greg Johnson and 1994 fifth round pick (Frederick Deschenes)
Greg Johnson was the Flyers’ 33rd overall pick in the 1989 draft and was unsigned by the club. His rights, along with a 1994 fourth round pick, were dealt to the Red Wings. Then-GM in Detroit Bryan Murray believed he was a valuable prospect whom the Red Wings could develop.
He played 177 games in Detroit over the next four seasons scoring 81 points. He was later traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and best known as an expansion draft pick by the Nashville Predators, whom he captained for four seasons.
The Red Wings drafted goaltender Freddie Deschenes, who never played with the team, rather becoming a journeyman through various minor leagues.
In return, the Flyers acquired forward prospect Jim Cummins, who played 22 games with the club before being traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for Rob DiMaio in March of 1994.
The Flyers would package the 1993 fourth round pick in a trade with the Boston Bruins as part of a deal that landed them defenseman Garry Galley and forward Wes Walz.
Charles Paquette was a defenseman who never played in the NHL.
9/9/93 – Stewart Malgunas for 1995 fifth round pick (David Arsenault)
Stewart Malgunas was a defense prospect with the Red Wings who spent three seasons in the AHL. He was dealt to the Flyers where he’d play 71 NHL games over the following two seasons with the team. He signed with the Winnipeg Jets as a free agent in 1995.
The Red Wings drafted goaltender David Arsenault in the fifth round of 1995 but he never played in the NHL.
10/5/93 – Yves Racine and 1994 fourth round pick (Sebastien Vallee) for Terry Carkner
Terry Carkner was a five year veteran with the Flyers, best remebered as a hard-nosed defenseman who embraced the “Broad Street Bullies” mentality. He played two seasons with the Red Wings, though missing substantial time in 1994-95 with injury. He later signed with the Florida Panthers where he’d end his career.
Yves Racine was a defenseman who would play just one season in Philly. He was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens the following summer. The Flyers drafted forward Sebastien Vallee with their 1994 fourth round pick but he’d never play for the organization.
2/6/10 – Ville Leino for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and 2011 fifth round pick (Mattias Backman)
Leino was an undrafted forward who had quite a bit of hype when he signed with the Red Wings in 2008. Due to salary cap constraints, he was sent to the minors for the 2008-09 season where he posted 15 goals and 46 points in 57 games. He was traded to the Flyers before the 2010 trade deadline and posted four points in 13 games. He was a healthy scratch when the postseason started, but due to injuries, he was activated and placed on a line with Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere. He posted 21 points in 19 games and helped carry the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final. He had a successful second season in Philly as well, registering 19 goals and 53 points in 81 games, but was ultimately not re-signed in the 2011 offseason.
The Red Wings acquired defenseman O.K. Tollefsen, who spent the rest of the 2009-10 season in the AHL before leaving for Europe during the summer, and a 2011 fifth round pick, which they used to select defenseman Mattias Backman, who never made it to the NHL, though did spend five seasons with various AHL squads.
3/12/13 – Kent Huskins for conditional 2014 seventh round pick
The 2012-13 season was straight from hell in terms of injuries for the Flyers. 13 different defensemen suited up, and after exhausting all their internal options, they had to make a trade just to find a healthy body. Kent Huskins, 34, was veteran of 310 NHL games as a well traveled journeyman across both the AHL and NHL.
He played in eight games with the Flyers until a concussion ended his season early.
The condition seems to be unknown, but it was never met and the Flyers retained their seventh round pick in 2014, using it to select defenseman Jesper Pettersson.
2/19/18 – Petr Mrazek for 2018 fourth round pick () and 2019 third round pick ()
The goaltending tandem of Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott as well as third stringer Alex Lyon were oft-injured and not producing strong results when healthy. Despite that, the Flyers were on the verge of a playoff spot and needed help in net. Enter Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek.
Mrazek’s hot and cold nature made him a risky acquisition, and unfortunately for the Flyers, they got the not-so-hot version of him. He played in 17 regular season games with an ugly 3.22 goals against average and .891 save percentage. He entered in relief during one playoff game and allowed two goals on 14 shots and was not re-signed during the offseason.
Both picks the Flyers sent to the Red Wings were conditional, and the Wings were guaranteed no less than a fourth round for Mrazek.
The condition in the 2018 fourth rounder was if the Flyers make the playoffs and Mrazek wins five games during the regular season, the fourth rounder becomes a third. And if the Flyers advance to the Conference Final and Mrazek wins six playoff games, the third round pick becomes a second.
The Flyers made the playoffs and Mrazek won six games, so the Red Wings got a third round pick in 2018 which they used to select defenseman Seth Barton, who currently plays with the Grand Rapids Griffins, their AHL team.
The 2019 third rounder’s condition was based on the Flyers re-signing him, if they did the pick would transfer. This condition was not met.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)