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Flyers Trade

Flyers GM Briere Exposes Gauthier Behavior as Reason for Jamie Drysdale Trade



Jamie Drysdale trade
Philadelphia Flyers GM Danny Briere put it flatly - Cutter Gauthier is the reason for the Jamie Drysdale trade. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers made a shocking move on Monday, trading top prospect Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Jamie Drysdale and a 2025 second-round pick. However, it wasn’t much of a surprise for Flyers GM Danny Briere, who said the move was a long time coming. Gauthier was the de facto reason for the Jamie Drysdale trade.

According to Briere, Gauthier was not communicating with the Flyers, dating back to the 2023 World Junior Championship. He also explained that this was the reason Gauthier was not present for the Flyers’ Development Camp, but nothing was made of it in order to protect Gauthier from the media. The Flyers GM was disappointed as he expected Gauthier to play in Philadelphia, but remarked that now was the time to make a move.

Gauthier did not engage Briere or Keith Jones when the two traveled to Sweden last week to meet with him, perhaps even change his mind.

“It’s been a long time. It’s been going on for a while,” Briere said. “We tried to give him space, tried to get in touch many times. (The Gauthier side) would not communicate. We had to make a decision, and we thought with what happened a few days ago, this was probably our time to get the highest value.”

Briere is referring to Gauthier’s standout performance for Team USA in their gold-medal win.

The Flyers’ trade landed them a potentially premier defenseman, whom Briere was obviously thrilled to get. The former Flyers star mentioned that he sees Drysdale in the same conversation as Michkov and that he can be the team’s No. 1 defenseman in the long term.

“In our mind, at first, we said we have to protect him because if he changes his mind again, and it’s out there that he doesn’t want to play, it would be difficult to put the uniform on,” explained Briere. “When we realized he refused to talk to us, it’s been months, and he didn’t want to be a Flyer, didn’t want to be in Philadelphia, it was time to make it happen.”

Drysdale, 21, is in the first year of a three-year, $6.9 million contract he signed in October. Briere also stated that he’s not quite sure yet where Drysdale fits into the Flyers lineup and that there will be an adjustment period when he arrives in Philadelphia.

“It’s not very often you find a Jamie Drysdale that you can add to your lineup. When that came about — when his name was made available — we got really excited. The chance to add a player of his caliber to a premium position, a right-shot defenseman for a left-winger, made a lot of sense, and we felt it was the right time to do it.”

Lastly, Briere added that Drysdale would be a great fit in the Flyers’ locker room and that everyone he talked to raved about Drysdale’s character. All the players in the room care deeply about each other, and Briere believes that his new defenseman fits that mold perfectly. The Flyers clearly see Drysdale as the elite talent that he was drafted to be, and now it’s about putting that on the ice.

But why didn’t Gauthier want to be a Flyer?

“I don’t know. We never got an answer,” replied Briere.

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