On June 24, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren flipped two franchise cornerstones in a matter of hours. He sent Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings for a player, a pick and a prospect. He sent Jeff Carter to the Blue Jackets for winger Jake Voracek, a first-round draft pick and a third-round pick.

Holmgren needed to clear cap space to sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, and he wanted to change his team's makeup. He did these things by trading his pair of 26-year-old All-Stars, who were one year removed from an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. He got much in the way of a return and, in Bryzgalov, he may have found a link that has been missing since Bernie Parent. We shall see.

Since the trade, Richards and Carter have turned into drunken miscreants bent on endless bacchanalia, and they have yet to play a game for their new teams.

What a startling about-face. One day they were the cornerstones of a team that averaged 43 victories over four seasons; the next day they are traded, and they are morally depraved sots and locker-room wreckers.

It is an old story, especially in Philadelphia, which is one of America's great sports towns in part because it is a cauldron of passion and intrigue. The story du jour in Philly is known as "Dry Island," in reference to an idea conjured by coach Peter Laviolette after he was hired in December 2009. The story is growing legs.

According to a report that ran earlier this week in the Philadelphia Daily News, Laviolette on five occasions asked his players to refrain from alcohol for a month and to show their commitment by writing their numbers on a board in the locker room. Richards and Carter were among a cadre of players who did not sign up and, supposedly, remained wet. Eventually, the News story says, their "hard-partying ways" and "longstanding party lifestyle" compelled management to trade them.