Philly gossip columnist Dan Gross lifts the lid on hockey’s love of booze, with the kind of story that’s supposed to never get out of the locker room… as Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren notes, while not really denying the most juicy stuff:

The hard-partying ways of Flyers captain Mike Richards and center Jeff Carter played a major role in the organization’s decision to trade both players in June, say two Flyers who played with the pair last season….

Shortly after his arrival in December 2009, coach Peter Laviolette instituted what players came to call the “Dry Island.” Laviolette asked team members to commit to not drinking for a month, and each player was asked to write his number on a locker room board as a pledge. No. 17 (Carter) and No. 18 (Richards) were absent from the board on the first Dry Island, as well as the estimated five more times the policy was instituted….

Holmgren was “really upset that this is out there. That’s our locker room. Our inner sanctum. Our board. Someone’s crossing a line here,” in discussing the Dry Island.

Holmgren did deny such things led to the trades (Carter now plays for Columbus, and Richards for L.A.). And Carter’s agent said it was “bull—-” that “they are out partying and not focused on hockey,” though that’s certainly not new gossip to anybody who reads Flyers message boards (or Sports by Brooks).