June 27, 2011
On draft weekend, the Flyers shocked everyone by dealing away their two best players, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. This week they have followed up by trading away the bulk of their roster for baseball players and draft picks at the MLB trade deadline. The move comes right after a fellow NHL franchise moved north of the border in search of better profits.
"We realized that we could make a lot more money as a baseball franchise," said Flyers owner Jim Warburton, "and luckily Philadelphia didn't have an MLB franchise."
"I'm crazy excited," said Philadelphian Charlie Day, "we're gonna have a basketball team and maybe they can be the green-men, and I could be their mascot."
The move isn't entirely unprecedented: The Buffalo Bills experimented with becoming a soccer team in the 2000s, but have since switched back, and the Colorado Rockies left the NHL to join the MLB.
The Flyers have a lease with the Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia) Center to keep them playing in the arena through 2015. If they are unable to get out of the lease, the Wells Fargo Center would be the smallest park in baseball with center field being only 128 feet from home plate. "We're looking into using wiffle balls," said Flyers GM Tony Bronson, "or maybe putting up netting so that a homerun will have to be 300 feet up at the fence. We're calling that option the Net-Monster."
No word yet from the MLB whether they will allow the Flyers to make the Bo Jackson-like move.