Why didn’t Cutter Gauthier want to play for the Flyers?
An interesting trade between the Philadelphia Flyers and Anaheim Ducks happened during the first period of the Flyers 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday Night.
The Flyers traded one of their top prospects, Cutter Gauthier, to the Ducks in exchange for Jamie Drysdale and a second-round selection in the 2025 NHL Draft.
Gauthier was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and just won gold at the 2024 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
So why did the Flyers trade a player with so much promise? Simply put, he decided he didn't want to play for the Flyers, so they moved on.
"We were hoping at some point he would change his mind," said Flyers general manager Danny Briere. He told us at the draft he was built to be a Flyer, wanted to be a Flyer. A few months later he told us he didn't want to."
Briere said once they realized he wasn't going to change his mind on that stance, they decided to make the move.
So why doesn't he want to play in Philadelphia?
"I don't know," Briere told the media on Monday night. "We never got an answer."
Flyers President of Hockey Operations Keith Jones took it once step further during the teams broadcast against the Penguins.
"You don't want to be a Flyer, you're not going to be a Flyer."
Jones said they were very pleased in the return they got in the trade, landing a right-handed shooting defenseman, who was the former No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 draft.
It is rare for two players at this stage of their career to be moved for each other, but it was apparent he didn't want to play for Philadelphia - so the Flyers made this move.
When Jones and Briere went to the World Juniors to try and rectify the situation with Gauthier, and he wasn't willing to meet with them, they knew it was time to move on.
Some have suggested that he didn't want to play for Flyers coach John Tortorella.
Other have suggested that former Flyer Kevin Hayes, who like Gauthier, is a Boston College alum. Hayes was no fan of current Flyers coach John Tortorella and was shipped out by the team to St. Louis.
He was a Penguins fan growing up, but that can't be why he doesn't want to play in Philadelphia, can it?
Regardless of why, this is the kind of deal that we will look back on in ten years and see who got the best of the trade. Right now it seems very difficult to wrap your head around why this happened when it did, but there are plenty of theories.
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