You can’t say the Flyers were held completely out of the 2010 NHL entry draft.
As the first round of the draft came to an end in Los Angeles on Friday, the Flyers got their usual draft-day ink by trading the rights of defenseman Dan Hamhuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a third-round selection in the 2011 entry draft.
Hamhuis’ rights were acquired from the Nashville Predators, five days ago, in exchange for young Flyers defenseman Ryan Parent.
Twenty-seven year old Hamhuis and the Flyers were at odds over a new contract which had the blue liner rumored to be asking for upwards of $5 million a year. Hamhuis will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
With the money aimed at Hamhuis now freed up, it is expected that the Flyers will target a high-priced goaltender. Philly was rumored to be close to a deal with the San Jose Sharks for the rights of 34-year-old backstop Evgeni Nabakov.
Trade talk, rumors and speculation is what the NHL offseason has come to be all about. But in the case of the Flyers moving center Jeff Carter, general manager Paul Holmgren put a stop to the chatter.
“People see things (websites and blogs) and think that he’s available. It’s not the case,” Holmgren told CSN’s John Boruk.
“It’s hard to find a 6-foot-3 centerman who can skate. I can’t see Jeff Carter anywhere but with the Flyers.”
It doesn’t get much clearer than that.
What’s the perfect gift for a team still needing to sign a goaltender, free agent defenseman and two restricted free agent players with roughly $8 million in cap space to do so?
How about an estimated $2.2 million bump in the salary cap.
The Flyers will ring in the 2010-11 season with some Western Conference flavor.
After starting the season off on Oct. 7 in Pittsburgh’s brand new Consol Energy Center against the Atlantic Division rival Penguins, which will be the first of three meetings against the Penguins in Oct., the Flyers will travel to St. Louis to face goaltender Jaroslav Halak and the Blues on Oct. 9.
Philly’s home opener and Eastern Conference champion banner raising ceremony will be two days later on Monday, Oct. 11 when the Flyers host sophomore Matt Duchene and the Colorado Avalanche.
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 don’t have a selection until the 89th pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft on June 25-26 in Los Angeles. But that’s not keeping them from window shopping.
According to European sources, the Flyers, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, have shown noticeable interest in Russian defenseman Nikita Zaytsev.
“My favorite interviews were the ones with Philadelphia and Chicago,” Zaytsev said pertaining to his draft combine meetings,” because these teams were interested in me a lot.”
In a move seemingly out of left field, RDS is reporting that the rights to Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak has been traded to the St. Louis Blues for 21-year-old center Lars Eller and forward prospect Ian Schultz.
According to NBC Philadelphia, Flyers forward Danny Briere and son Cameron were in a car accident on Thursday morning in Binghamton, New York.
State police reported that while “a little drowsy,” Briere attempted to pass a tractor-trailer but drifted into the other lane where he side swiped the truck. Briere’s car then ricocheted off the guardrail deploying the airbags, while the tractor-trailer jackknifed. Briere’s car was totaled.
Briere and son were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital. No word yet on the cause of his drowsiness.
Scratch one potential Flyers goaltender off the list.
According to the Sun Sentinal, Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun, has been assured by new general manager Dale Tallon that he is not being actively shopped on the trade market.
“He likes me, and he has no interest in shopping me or trading me unless there’s a great deal that would make sense,” Vokoun said regarding his new boss.
“Obviously, everybody’s tradable. He said if it was best for the future of the organization he would have to do it. But from what I understand, he wants me around.”
It looks like Jonathan Toews’ year just got a bit better. If an Olympic gold medal, Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe weren’t enough for the young captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, it appears as if the 22-year-old will follow teammate Patrick Kane (NHL 10) and grace the cover of NHL 11.