WITH ONLY 15 MINUTES left until the official close of business, there was no word of movement out of the Flyers front office.

Other teams were moving players - big names, medium names, little names, prospects, draft picks were all flying across the Internet and through the telephone lines at NHL headquarters after a very slow start to the league trade deadline yesterday afternoon.

Olli Jokinen went to Calgary, Bill Guerin to Pittsburgh, Mark Recchi to Boston, Justin Williams to Los Angeles, Nik Antropov and Derek Morris to the New York Rangers. Jay Bouwmeester stayed on the Florida blue line, and Anaheim's Chris Pronger was never even on the market as of late Tuesday night.

But there was nothing from the Flyers, just as expected. The Flyers had no room under the salary cap. They would have liked a Bouwmeester - they certainly explored the options - and they looked at both Morris and Antropov, and, by his own account, general manager Paul Holmgren was on and off the phone all day.

"There were calls coming in and calls going out," he said.

But the bottom line was always the cap. To make a deal the Flyers would have to move players and salary and, in effect, dismantle a piece of the core that they have been happy with, have carefully put together over the last two seasons.

So they didn't.

Instead, Holmgren chose to trade winger Scottie Upshall to Phoenix along with a second-round pick in 2011 for winger Daniel Carcillo. It was a swap of a 6-foot, 197-pound speed and skill guy for a 6-foot, 200-pound grit guy - and some wiggle room under the salary cap.

Then they traded a 2009 sixth-round pick for Kyle McLaren, a veteran NHL defenseman who hasn't played a game in the league this season.

It was a pair of trades that lit up fan message boards and had critics e-mailing reporters calling for Holmgren to be taken to task.

Carcillo, who leads the league with 174 penalty minutes (18 majors), has only three goals and seven assists. He has a reputation as a fighter, someone who would challenge Riley Cote for minutes more than any of the other forwards.

Holmgren listened and then shot right back:

"He also scored [13] goals last year. Daniel Carcillo is a good player who also happens to be tough and aggressive, that's the bottom line. We think he can play on our top nine [forwards]," Holmgren said.

"The fans are going to love him," he added. "Trust me."

And so tonight, when the Flyers take the ice against the Calgary Flames, Carcillo will be in the lineup, McLaren on the depth charts with the Phantoms, and the Flyers roster will be set, barring injury, of course.

No more will the Flyers have to send Claude Giroux or Darroll Powe down to the Phantoms if there is a defenseman injury and someone with a bigger cap number has to come up.

It wasn't much, but the trade of Upshall's $1.25 million for Carcillo's $884,000 was just enough to give the Flyers some wiggle room and preserve the majority of the team they had on the ice in the 4-2 win in Boston, a game in which Upshall scored a key goal.

A disappointing day?

"Not at all," Holmgren said. "I've said to you guys all year long, I like our team. Losing the two guys [Glen Metropolit and Ossi Vaananen] on waivers [last week] and having to give up Scottie to make our salary cap work a little better hurts a little bit.

"Scottie is a good kid, we all like him, but we got a guy back that plays a similar game to Scottie, but a little more aggressive. It's a better fit for us right now in the long run in a lot of ways," he said.

"Claude Giroux has played well enough to be on our team and so has Darroll Powe. We have different players now playing different roles. But the core of our team is together. We weren't really pushing to make any big deals, because, at the end of the day, we like our team."

For Upshall it was a disappointing day. Since being traded to the Flyers 2 years ago in the Peter Forsberg deal with Nashville that also included Ryan Parent, Upshall has been a productive, popular Flyer.

One of the young guys who lives in Center City, Upshall was getting his hair cut when he got a call from a television reporter in Canada who gave him the news.

"My original reaction was definitely disappointing," he said. "I sat around [yesterday] morning and thought I wouldn't want to be anywhere else after [yesterday] and hopefully continue the season here.

"To get the call, I actually heard from a bunch of people, from television stations back in Canada to let me know. It was really tough, tough to take, mixed emotions, obviously not the best emotions at first, but you know, I realize it's part of the game.

"I'm going to move on to a new team and a new city and approach it the same as when I got to Philadelphia."

For Carcillo, who was leaving one of the worst teams in the Western Conference to come to one of the better teams in the East and a job in the playoffs, it was surprising, but not disappointing.

"I was excited, a little surprised, but nonetheless excited to come to Philly," Carcillo said. "I grew up loving to watch the team play because of how rough and aggressive they were, and they were definitely my favorite team as a child growing up, so it's kind of surreal and a kind of a dream come true to put on their uniform." *