PHILADELPHIA -- The most obvious thing that can be said about Wednesday's deal between the Flyers and the Hartford Whalers is also the truest -- that two guys who needed a change of scenery got one.
Just three seasons ago, Kevin Dineen was among the best right wings in the NHL, a feisty 45-goal scorer who started in the All-Star Game for the Wales Conference.
But the Whalers didn't win a playoff round that year, or any other year between 1986 and the present. Dineen, Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson, the players who formed the Whalers' late-'80s nucleus, took much of the blame for that failing. Last season, Francis and Samuelsson were traded to Pittsburgh as Dineen suffered through his worst NHL season, weakened by injury and illness. It was clear that he, too, was being written out of the Whalers' plans. Wednesday it became official when Hartford traded Dineen to the Flyers for forward Murray Craven and unspecified future considerations, believed to be a conditional 1992 draft choice.