The Flyers have traded 23-year-old RFA defenseman Ryan Parent to the Nashville Predators for the rights to 27-year-old defenseman Dan Hamhuis and a conditional selection in the 2011 NHL entry draft.
“Obviously it is sad to leave the Predators,” said Hamhuis, who spent six years in Nashville. “I spent some great years with them and it is great organization to be a part of. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the city of Philadelphia and the Flyers.”
The Flyers have until the opening of the free agent period on July 1, to sign hard-hitting Hamhuis. The veteran blue-liner who averaged 21 minutes of ice time per game last season, is expected to command anywhere from $3.5 to $5 million per season for at least three years.
“Our intention is to get him signed prior to [July 1], and that is what our aim is at this point in time,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren in the official press release. “The sooner that we get going on trying to get this done, the better.”
Hamhuis was dubbed one of the top free agents to-be this offseason. A very capable top-four rear guard, his ability to log minutes, block shots and play the body, make him a valuable asset to any team. He can also chip in offensively, tallying 32 goals and 129 assists in 483 career games.
“Dan Hamhuis is a good all-around defenseman,” said Holmgren. “He’s a guy who can play lots of minutes and he can play in a lot of different situations, from power play to killing penalties. He is another athlete we’d like to add to our team to continue to improve our defense.”
However, Hamhuis’ biggest asset may just be the fact that he’s durable. Despite putting up heavy minutes and playing a physical game, the 6-foot-1, 203 lbs., defenseman missed just nine games in his last six seasons. According the Flyers official website, since being drafted 12th overall in 2001, only Ilya Kovalchuk has played more games.
The Flyers, with roughly $10 million under the cap before re-signing RFA’s Braydon Coburn, Dan Carcillo and inking a starting goaltender, don’t necessarily have the money for a player like Hamhuis, unless they go goaltender on the cheap. The real cheap.
However, it’s also very possible that the Flyers move a big money-maker to bring in a goaltender and free up space.