Two unnamed players who were with the Philadelphia Flyers this past season told Philly.com that Richards and Carter were traded largely due to their longstanding party lifestyle. The players said the organization was disappointed in Richards and Carter and teammates were concerned about their drinking.
According to the report, coach Peter Laviolette asked his players to commit to not drinking for a month on six occasions by writing their number on a board in the locker room. Richards and Carter did not ever participate in what was known as "Dry Island."
General manager Paul Holmgren confirmed to the newspaper that they did not participate but said they were not the only players to decline. "We carry 23 players and there wasn't 23 numbers up there," Holmgren said.
But Holmgren called it "preposterous" that Carter and Richards were traded because of their drinking.
"As far as Mike and Jeff are concerned, we made two good hockey trades that will better suit us now and for the future," Holmgren said, according to Philly.com. "Columbus is happy, L.A. is happy and the Flyers are happy with the deal."
Carter's agent denied the allegations, while neither player nor Richards' agent returned requests from the paper for comment.
Richards was sent to the Los Angeles Kings in June for prized prospect Brayden Schenn, winger Wayne Simmonds and a draft pick. On the same day, Carter was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Jakub Voracek and two draft picks.