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Mike Richards responds to all the hubbub surrounding ‘Dry Island’

Jul 27, 2011, 11:21 AM EDT

richardslaviolette AP

In what might be the least shocking development of the week, current Los Angeles Kings and former Philadelphia Flyers center Mike Richards downplayed the “Dry Island” rumors during a Tuesday appearance on TSN’s That’s Hockey.

Richards didn’t deny the existence of the somewhat comically named idea, he just put it in what is likely the most realistic context: that it wasn’t that big of a deal. Now, it’s quite possible that character issues still were among the top reasons that the Flyers decided to part ways with Richards and Jeff Carter. It’s just tough to fathom that it all fell apart because they opted against enlisting in the equivalent to giving up booze for Lent.

Say what you will about Richards’ prickly relationship with the Philadelphia media – one of the other leading reasons why people think that he was traded – but he’s right that the duo didn’t get traded because of “Dry Island.” Richards even paraphrased the Las Vegas tourism motto when responding to the gossip.

“I believe what happens in the dressing room should stay in the dressing room,” Richards told TSN’s That’s Hockey on Tuesday. “It was just something that happened for a handful of guys, just more of a playful thing that half the team took part in and the other half didn’t.

“It wasn’t a big deal…It was just a joke around the locker room and obviously leaked out and someone’s trying to make a mountain out of it.”

(snip)

“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” Richards told TSN. “Unfortunately, things get blown out of proportion and things get said and taken out of context too. I’m not sure if people are trying to get a sense of it or trying to convince other people that it was the reason, but at the same time, it’s not true at all.”

It’s easy to scoff a bit at “what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room” line but it cuts to the core of this story’s biggest issue. If it’s true that Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave his team a facelift for reasons that go beyond the franchise’s desperate urge for a reliable goalie, then he still has some surgery to do. Having two “unnamed sources” spill the beans about the inner workings of their locker room cannot be a great sign for the team’s sense of order.

Philadelphia Sports Daily transcribed some comments from Laviolette, who echoed the sentiment about locker room details surfacing but didn’t seem to think that “Dry Island” was such a “playful thing.”

“I just don’t think a lot of that should come out,” Laviolette said on 97.5 FM Monday, “for the simple reason of what you guys are talking about. Maybe some guys do some things, maybe some guys don’t do some things. And then there’s a reflection of what does happen or doesn’t happen from inside the locker room and it paints a poor picture.”

However, Laviolette didn’t see “Dry Island” as a “joke” or “playful thing,” as Richards suggested.

“My point was whether you were having three glasses of wine, or one beer, or one vodka — my point was that any alcohol that got taken out of play in that stretch run, while we were trying to push to get back to the playoffs, could have helped our team in any way,” he said. “We did the best we could to get back into position of the playoffs.”

Ultimately, this is a story because of the team and players involved – not to mention how funny the phrase “Dry Island” looks in print. Blaming partying as the driving force behind the departure of the Flyers’ still-young center duo is even sillier than calling anything “Dry Island.”

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    It so easy to sit there and make fun of the whole situation when you don’t watch this team 82+ times every season. If you watched how both these players have played then you’d understand. There was something wrong with Richards and his play this past season. Partying does affect the way you play. And when you do a complete 180 from ’09-’10 to ’10-’11, you need to consider everything that you can improve on. Idk how closely you follow the Flyers Mr. O’B, but I can assure if you did you’d be annoyed along with most of the Flyer nation about how these guys have conducted themselves here in Philly. And there is no way Carter is going to do any better in Columbus. He is the epitome of a “floater.” He needs someone to do all the work so he can shoot from every angle. You national media just focus on the numbers. Don’t worry, you’ll see soon enough that these two care more about themselves then the teams they are associated with.

    • dbick - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:55 PM

      You are a moron. Their drinking affected them so much they made it to the ECF’s twice and the stanley cup finals once in their tenure! I think it’s funny that you consider it a complete “180″ from 09-10 to 10-11, unless you mean a 180 in a good way. Because in 09 they were largely an average team and got into the playoffs by winning the FINAL GAME of the season. And last year were a 2 seed, and just seemed to fall apart vs the bruins (also keep in mind they ran into Tim Thomas who was pulling a Patrick Roy). I guess these 2 guys really only care about boozing and themselves, I mean Carter didn’t come back from two broken feet a couple years ago to play in the playoffs or anything did he? Richards didnt play the ENTIRE SEASON this year hurt right? He didn’t need surgery immediately after the playoffs right? You are just another moron who irrationally hates Richards and Carter because of one bad playoff run.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        Do ECFs appearances = Stanley Cups Champs? Cuz if it does then yes, I am a moron. Both Richards and Carter are in their prime which means you know what you are getting from them. You don’t trade your ‘cornerstones’ unless there were some internal problems that you and I will never know. Everyone knew about the ‘Old City Gang’ and their nightlife, including Mr. Snider and Homer. The fact that those two wouldn’t participate in ‘Dry Island’ proves that they thought they were above the team. I mean you can’t give up drinking for ONE month?? How does that exemplify leadership? Remember, we are talking about the Captain and the Assistant. Not two average Joes. There is no hatred for either one of the players. Life is too short to hate two people who could care less about you or I haha.

  2. nickynick04 - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Its no secret in Philly about their womanizing, boozing and porn star parties

  3. joeypucks - Jul 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    F Richards, good riddance! I hated to see Carter go!

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