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Cutter Gauthier: A Flyers Timeline

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

Well…Flyers hockey is officially back.

After many years of a boring, uninspired, corporate brand of hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers organization re-discovered their fastball. Even casual fans are now perked up after the drama this past week as the Flyers traded their top North American prospect Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks for former 2020 6th overall pick Jamie Drysdale and a 2025 2nd-round pick.

Gauthier was the Flyers’ former 5th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and is tearing it up in his second year at Boston College. On draft night he said how excited he was to be a Flyer, how his mom was from the area, and how he was born to be a Flyer.

Not only is he a menace in college, he had one of the best world championships by an under-20 player EVER back in March of 2023. He had been a key part of two USA World Juniors Championship teams, with one winning gold. Gauthier was touted as one of the best prospects the Flyers have had in a long time and fans were excited about the future of the organization.

On the surface this trade made absolutely no sense, and fans immediately lost their collective mind. As the night progressed, and the days went along, we as fans learned more about the situation and why the trade happened.

Drama, finger pointing, pettiness, source offs, and John Tortorella made this saga so much more than any Flyers fan could’ve imagined.

So what exactly happened?

Monday, January 8th 2024

7:00 PM – Flyers vs. Penguins Puck-Drop

Fans across Pennsylvania and the surrounding states sit down to tune into the third battle of Pennsylvania this season between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers already won the first two meetings in overtime and were looking to continue their success with a win that would win them the series. After an early power play goal by the Penguins, a notification popped up on many fans phones.

7:15 – The Trade

The Flyers acquired Jamie Drysdale and a 2025 2nd round pick from the Anaheim Ducks for Flyers #2 prospect Cutter Gauthier. Fans rightfully started to lose their minds. No one knew what had just happened.

Gauthier had just come off a gold medal in the world juniors where he lead the USA in scoring. He had also scored a game winning power play goal late in the 3rd period vs. Finland to send them to the finals. He was at an all time popularity level in the fanbase. Why did the Flyers make this trade?

Less than five minutes after the trade had been announced we learned new information.

Apparently Gauthier had let it be known that he did not intend to sign with the Flyers. Danny Briere called a press conference for the middle of the first period.

7:50 – 1st Intermission: Danny Brière speaks

In this press conference, Brière explained the situation as to why this trade happened the way it did. In it were some pretty telling quotes about what caused this situation.

Gauthier not talking to the Flyers for months is interesting, but the whole story still wasn’t out there. Briere also made note to call Gauthier a wing multiple times in the press conference when he had recently been regarded to as a center, a position he plays at BC and played for team USA. Some subliminal shots at Gauthier on his exit.

A little after this presser, Frank Seravalli gave some more information on the lengths the Flyer front office went to repair this relationship.

Brière and Jones flew halfway across the world to try to communicate with this kid after being ghosted for MONTHS. There was no lack of commitment to showing Gauthier how valuable he was to the Flyers. Something really bad must’ve taken place…

8:50 – 2nd Intermission: Keith Jones, Dan Hilferty, Scott Hartnell, and Al Morganti speak

After Brière’s press conference, President of Hockey Ops Keith Jones found his way to the NBCSPhilly booth to talk with Jim Jackson and Brian Boucher.

Jones reiterated the same message Brière did that Gauthier did not want to be a Flyer. He also thanked all the GMs and Presidents across the league for keeping negotiations quiet. Jones then started raving about Jamie Drysdale and how excited he was that Drysdale would be joining the Flyers.

At the same time, Dan Hilferty joined the Snow the Goalie podcast and was a bit more blunt about his feelings towards the situation.

Hilfery made it known he does not feel bad for what happens to Gauthier when he returns to Philadelphia. Hilferty also echoed Brière’s and Jones’ message that Gauthier did not want to be here.

Meanwhile in the NBCSP intermission studio, Scott Hartnell and Al Morganti RIPPED Gauthier for acting how he did.

At this point we don’t know what exactly happened besides some sort of disconnect between Gauthier and the front office.

But as the night went along, people started to put some rumors out that snowballed into a much bigger story than just Gauthier and the Flyers butting heads.

9:45 – Final: Penguins-4 Flyers-1

“Oh yeah, the Flyers are playing a game right now,” everyone thought at the same time when the horn sounded. The end of the game kickstarted an entire mess that blew this trade up more than it already had been.

First let’s talk about the statements from the Flyers about Gauthier.

Travis Sanheim

That was a pretty aggressive statement by Sanheim, basically calling out Gauthier for going rouge by skipping prospect camp and how that stuck with the whiole team. Basically, Sanheim gave Gauthier a massive a middle finger as a good bye.

Carter Hart

Hart also called out Gauthier for not wanting to be here but immediately started talking about how good of a guy and player Drysdale is.

John Tortorella

“I don’t know Cutter from a hole in the wall.”

Wow, don’t think much more needs to be said there. The quotes from the Flyers were pretty petty and blunt, but the story is just getting started.

On the Snow the Goalie Podcast, Anthony SanFilippo made a comment mid game on the trade that blew up the entire hockey world.

Oh? This just got juicy.

Spittin’ Chiclets podcast host Ryan Whitney immediately jumped on the report as he and Hayes are good friends.

Hayes absolutely denied any involvement. This caused a squabble between SanFilippo and Spittin’ Chiclets as they started going back and forth with each other on X (formally known as Twitter).

Later that night, Anthony Di Marco of the Fourth Period dropped some more information on Gauthier, and the lengths the Flyers went to try and communicate with him.

Not only are you ghosting Brière and Jones, but now it’s out there you also refused to talk to two of the greatest NHL players of all time in Patrick Sharp and John LeClair? One of them being one of the greatest (if not the greatest) American power forward of all time. Not a great look for an American power forward.

Later, we find out that LeClair even went to Boston College to try to meet with Gauthier. Gauthier sent his coach out instead, pretty much telling LeClair and the Flyers to F-Off.

A drama filled first day that would get a whole lot messier as the week went along.

Tuesday, January 9th 2024

Good morning Flyers fans! Last night was not a dream. The Flyers did in fact trade Cutter Gauthier for Jamie Drysdale.

What will today bring us?

Well if you were looking for an explanation from Gauthier on the situation, keep looking, he doesn’t speak, but his agent does! Along with that we do have some information from Elliotte Friedman about what possibly might have happened. Oh and Kevin Hayes talked about his involvement (or lack thereof) in the situation. Jamie Drysdale also has his first practice with the Flyers today and spoke with the media! Lets jump into it.

Drysdale’s first practice

We’ll get to the juicy drama later, but we really need to talk about the actual future Flyer who is going to be really really good. Jamie Drysdale had his first practice in the orange and black and had to learn a completely different marking system than he was used to in Anaheim. Konecny and Laughton were spotted helping him as practice went along to make sure he was up to speed on what to do in each of the drills.

After practice Drysdale sat down and had his first press conference. He talked about literally everything that had happened in the past 24 hours.

Kevin Hayes speaks

Now on to the more…drama filled side of this trade.

Kevin Hayes was asked about the rumors that he was somehow involved and immediately shot them down. He also brought up how because of it he was getting death threats and how people were bringing up how they were happy his late brother Jimmy was dead. Not a great look for Flyers fans.

Elliotte Friedman releases an article

Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman added another layer to this saga when he released an article that was meant to clarify what happened. It really didn’t explain much besides something happening after the 2023 World Championship in March being a turning point. Friedman explains how many of his sources believe it was a cap problem with his entry-level contract and that he wanted to turn pro and not wait until the cap situation figured itself out. Weird that this could’ve happened from something so small, maybe there was more?

Gauthier’s agent speaks to Pierre LeBrun

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reached out to Gauthier’s agent Kurt Overhardt and received this statement back:

“It’s a private issue between the player and his family. We definitely had conversations with Philadelphia. We had very respectable conversations with Philadelphia about it. We’ve chosen just to take the high road and leave all that information private. The good news is, obviously Cutter has a new opportunity with Anaheim and the Flyers were able to get really good assets for the player. So everyone just needs to move forward.”

Kind of a snippy response, but after the way the Flyers sent him off, I didn’t expect much less.

A very confusing day as no real answer had come to light. But tomorrow there would be more information, along with Drysdale’s first game as a Flyer.

Wednesday, January 10th 2024

Day 3 of this saga has a lot: Another statement by Gauthier’s agent, an interview with Gauthier himself, Drysdale’s first game (and point!) as a Flyer, and John Tortorella absolutely UNLOADING on Anthony SanFilippo.

Yet another agent statement

In a quote to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gauthier’s agent released a second statement in as many days, this one a bit more combative than the first.

“We think that this is just a private matter and needs to stay private. But, on the other hand…when a college player is drafted by an NHL team, there’s no entitlement by that team. People will be upset with Cutter for his whole career. But as you know, in pro sports, you can’t please everybody.”

This statement basically points blame at the Flyers for drafting an NCAA player which is absolutely ridiculous. The only other time an NCAA player drafted in the first round held out and stayed all four years at school was, coincidentally, Kevin Hayes.

It also says that the situation is a private matter. I feel like the Flyers have a right to know what the problems were since they were directly involved. Not expressing the problems and instead just disappearing is a bad look. Pushing the blame on the other side after doing that is even worse.

Gauthier speaks

Cutter Gauthier finally talks after two days of silence. Gauthier sat down on the Ducks’ Light the Lamp podcast and opened up (not really) about the situation. He just continued to say how it was a personal private matter and gave no further explanation. Gauthier did however dump a bucket of water on the Kevin Hayes fire. He said that Hayes was not involved in the decision at all.

Drysdale makes his mark

Okay enough Gauthier (for now), it’s Jamie Drysdale time! Drysdale had a great first game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

He got a major ovation when he was announced by Lou Nolan in the starting lineup.

He then picked up an assist on a power play goal by Morgan Frost to tie the game at two.

And got a roar from the crowd when he was announced by Nolan again for his assist.

He had a pretty good first game as a Flyer, showing flashes of how talented he really is. The Flyers ended up beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout. Afterwards Drysdale got huge props from Tortorella.

“He’s a candidate to be a rover. Not just a defenseman, but a rover.”

A compliment like that from Tortorella doesn’t come along often. The last player he said something like that about was Zach Werenski. A great sign for the young 21 year old Drysdale.

But…uh…that wasn’t all that happened in Tortorella’s postgame presser.


I’m not even going to explain much here, Torts says everything.


Thursday, January 11th 2024

You thought this was over? No no no. Gauthier makes yet another statement and Danny Briere goes into more detail on the situation on the Jeff Marek Show.

Gauthier accidentally backs himself into a corner

The whole time this situation has been in the spotlight, Gauthier kept reiterating that it was a private, personal, family matter.

In an article written by Derek Lee of The Sporting Tribune, Gauthier was quoted as saying this:

“It wasn’t one specific reason why I asked for a trade. It was multiple, re-occurring issues that I’d seen over the past year and a half, two years of being under the Flyers organization. [Everything] kind of hit me all at once, thinking ‘I can’t move forward with this’ and ‘I really need to step up for myself and see what’s best for my future’ and that’s what I did.”

A telling quote. A completely different tone than his previous quotes on the matter.

Gauthier also said that there could be one day where he tells the details of what happened but for right now he kind of want to keep it to a private matter. As we already know earlier in the week, Elliotte Friedman reported Gauthier wanted to turn pro, but Gauthier stated he did not want to communicate with the franchise because of these “reoccurring issues.” A weird corner to back yourself into where there seems to be no way out.

Brière goes on TJMS and blows the whole thing even more wide open

Now here is where we get Danny Brière getting as much dirty laundry out there as possible. In this interview Brière gave many quotes, but some were super informative about what ACTUALLY happened.

One of the biggest surprises was when Brière said that they thought he was NHL ready after the World Championship. Many reports said the Flyers asked him to return to Boston College for another season, but this was not the case. Something apparently happened that Brière doesn’t know about because the last he had heard was he wanted to still be a Flyer but wanted to go back to Boston College another year. He also once again reiterated that he completely cut off the Flyers and he and his family wouldn’t even communicate with the Flyers about the team’s future vision.

Friday, January 12th 2024

Oh you thought this was over? No no no. Flyers fans are too petty for this to be over.

First of all, they paid for their ticket. Not being allowed in originally is incredibly soft by Boston College.

Second of all, oh boy…this was in Boston. This wasn’t a game close to Philly, this was IN BOSTON. Can you imagine what it’ll be like when Gauthier comes to Philadelphia next season? I’m sure NHL fans will be circling that game on their calendar. Think of John Tavares returning to the Island, but it’s Philadelphia fans he pissed off. That’s what it’ll be like next season.

Present Time

At the time of you reading this, much more could have come to light, but it seems all wrapped up at this point.


Here is a quick summary for you casual Flyers/Philadelphia fans who just want to know key points on this whole situation.

  1. After telling everyone he wanted to be a Flyer, Gauthier (for some unknown reasons) changed his mind and no longer wanted to be a Flyer
  2. He straight up ghosted the entire Flyers front office for almost 10 months
  3. When John LeClair went to visit him at BC, he basically told him to F-Off by sending his coach out instead
  4. He blatantly ignored Danny Brière and Keith Jones when they went to visit him in Sweden in early January of 2024
  5. Kevin Hayes was not involved in his decision

The consensus opinion on Gauthier

There are a lot of opinions about Gauthier out there. However, a majority of Flyers fans share is this one:

The problem with Gauthier in the eye of the fanbase isn’t not wanting to be a Flyer, most fans could not care less about that aspect. He is a college player. He can choose not to sign with the team that drafted him, that’s his personal decision.

The problem is just blatantly ignoring the Flyers when being asked to be talked to multiple times in multiple scenarios, such as phone calls, visits to Boston College, and the front office trip to Sweden. It screams of immaturity and disrespect to the team that took a chance on him and drafted him. The team that he specifically said he wanted to be a part of.

On top of that, not even letting the Flyers know why this was his decision makes it so the Flyers can’t learn from whatever caused this bridge to burn so other prospects don’t end up in the same situation. The whole situation was handled very unprofessionally by Gauthier and it definitely rubbed the Flyers front office the wrong way.

What now?

If for some random reason you want to know when the Ducks come to Philadelphia next, sadly we won’t know until the 2024-2025 NHL schedule is released.

But now that this whole thing seems to be behind the Flyers, just remember that the Flyers got a potential game-breaking, 21-year-old, right-handed defenseman AND a second-round pick from this trade.

And folks, Jamie Drysdale is really good and he’ll be a staple on the Flyers blueline for years.

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