They were drafted by the Flyers on the same day, June 21, 2003. Jeff Carter was taken with the 11th pick overall and Mike Richards at No. 24.

They won a gold medal together for Canada in the 2005 World Junior Championships and later that spring sipped from the Calder Cup as rookie members of the American Hockey League's Philadelphia Phantoms.

They bought homes within walking distance of each other in the Old City section of Philadelphia and hung out together after games.

When Richards signed a 12-year, $69 million contract extension on Dec. 13, 2007, he thought he'd be a Flyer for life. And when Carter agreed to an 11-year, $58 million extension on Nov. 13, 2010, the two thought they would walk together forever.

That all changed with a pair of emotional phone calls less than an hour apart.

First, Carter learned he'd been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for 21-year-old right wing Jakub Voracek, along with Columbus' first- and second-round picks in this weekend's NHL draft.

About an hour later, the Flyers stunned the hockey world when they dealt Richards to the Los Angeles Kings for dynamic 19-year-old center Brayden Schenn, hard-hitting 22-year-old right wing Wayne Simmonds and the Kings' second-round pick in the draft.

"Both Mike and Jeff were extremely upset," general manager Paul Holmgren said after orchestrating one of the most tumultuous days in Flyers history. "Not only were (the phone calls) tough for me to make, it was tough for them to receive. In our conversation, Mike became very emotional."

"We weren't sure what was going on with the team and with each other," Richards said Thursday night in a conference call with reporters.

"It's disappointing. Really, over the last 10 years (Carter) has been my best friend. We came up together, had success together and really spent our whole careers together.

"It's one of the reasons we signed those long extensions.

Both of us wanted to be in Philadelphia. That's the hardest part about the whole day, not being able to see it through with a guy I had success with. We really thought that was going to happen. That's the vision we both had.