After trading away a roster player, the team’s top defensive prospect and two first-round draft picks, General Manager Paul Holmgren had some questions to answer about why he would mortgage the future for an aging defenseman. And his answer? It’s about winning now.
“It’s a lot to give up,” Holmgren said honestly. “Ask me a couple years from now if it’s worth it. Lupul and Sbisa are good players but we’re trying to win now and Chris is the guy that can get closer to achieving our goal.”
The fact that Pronger has two Stanley Cup rings, is a big reason Holmgren paid the high price.
“Chris bring a lot of things to any team he is on,” Homer said. “He’s a proven winner first and secondly he brings the size and can pass the puck as well as anyone. He brings a fine physical presence. He’s an ideal fit on our team and he’ll make all the defenseman on our team better around him.”
When asked how they could fit Pronger’s $6.25 million salary under the cap, Holmgren claimed the team was under.
“We have space,” He said. “Once we get through the draft and get back home, we’ll sit down and look where we’re at. We still have a young nucleus and a team that can be a good team for a long time. We’ll address our issues when we get back home.”
The thought of Chris Pronger in the Orange and Black is starting to warm in the minds of blue-thirsty Philadelphians, who are starting to believe that the 6’6 war machine may be that one missing piece.
“I’d like to think so,” said Pronger, when asked if he is that missing link between the Flyers and a Stanley Cup. “That’s one of the reasons I was brought to Anaheim and it worked out. I’m looking forward to it.”
With a no-trade clause, Pronger knew he could potentially be moved at the draft. And according to him, the Flyers were one of the top teams on his list.
“There was a limited number of suitors to begin with with the price teams had to play,” he told TSN. ” Philly was one of the teams on the short list that’s for sure.”
Pronger is a unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2009-10 season. General Manager Paul Holmgren has told the media he has planned a sit down with Pronger and his agent to work out an extension.
TSN is reporting that the Flyers have acquired 34-year old defenseman Chris Pronger from the Anaheim Ducks for forward Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and the 2009 and 2010 first-round picks, with a conditional future third-round selection. The Flyers have been on the hunt for the big-hitting veteran defenseman since Jay Bouwmeester fell just out of their reach.
Despite aging, Pronger is still a legitimate top defenseman in the NHL. He is big, mean and experienced. Just what the Flyers needed. Philly may have appeared to pay too much, but if General Manager can package Danny Briere or another big-money forward to get back into the first round, the Pronger deal will be much easier to swallow.
Pronger has one more year left on his contract a $6.25 million. The Flyers relieved a little over $4 million with Lupul heading the other way. Look for Holmgren to make some more cap space before the night is over.
For many young Philadelphia-area ice hockey players, a chance to compete professionally after high school is an aspiration that rarely materializes. But one West Chester player’s professional hockey dream may come to fruition in a big way.
West Chester Rustin graduate Eric Knodel — all 6-6 and 216 pounds of him — has earned the rare opportunity to be included among 211 potential players selected at the 2009 NHL Entry draft, taking place in Montreal, Quebec, today and Saturday.
On a rumor-filled day prior to the 2009 NHL entry draft in Montreal, TSN reported that a player in the Jay Bouwmeester sweeps made a “major” offer for Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle. Many people speculated that the mystery suitor could be the Flyers, who just last offseason, had the trigger pulled on a trade for the puck-moving blue liner and was held back by Kaberle’s no trade clause.
However, details have surfaced that it was the Boston Bruins who had made the offer, which included sending Phil Kessel to Canada in return for Kaberle and the No. 7 overall.
As of this morning, the most likely move the Flyers make is to fall backwards in the draft in order to pick up a second rounder. The Flyers are absent from the second round due to sending their second rounder, along with Alex Picard to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Vinny Prospel, at 2007-08 trade deadline.
Look to the Islanders for a possible trade. New York owns three second-round picks, along with the 26th pick in the first. If former Flyer and current GM of the Isles Garth Snow, wants to move up to 21, he could send the Flyers the 26 and a decent selection in the second.
General Manager Paul Holmgren has made it clear that unless one of a certain group of highlighted players falls to Philly, the team is likely to trade back.
As Director of Hockey Operations, Chris Pryor is the gateway between General Manager Paul Holmgren and a team of scouts, that have spent the previous year preparing for the 2009 NHL draft. And with the draft just days away, Pryor gives some information as to the team’s mindset heading to Montreal.
“We have an idea of who we’re looking at,” said Pryor, in an interview with Kevin Kurz. “And we hope one of those guys are there.”
The Flyers have made it clear that they have an accurate idea of who they want to take. A small group of prospects they hope are on the board at 21. But as both Pryor and Holmgren reiterated, it’s all about taking the best player available.
“If all things are equal, we might look more toward a defenseman,” said Pryor. “Since that position is more difficult to find. But typically, we take the best player available.”
The Flyers are planning to select at 21, but aren’t canceling out the notion of moving up or down. It has been public that Holmgren has been trying hard to make a deal that could jostle the team’s position.
“There are a lot of possibilities that could come up in the next few days,” said Pryor. “We don’t know what could happen. If those guys we target aren’t there, we talk about different scenarios. We want to be prepared for what comes up in different situations.”
On June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Flyers are set to select the 21st pick in the 2009 NHL draft. And because of the amount of talent in the pool, the Flyers are sure to have an exciting day.
“Our stance is always the best available player,” said Flyers’ General Manager Paul Holmgren, during a pre-draft press conference. “We have a group we’re looking at and there are guys at each position that we have in that group. It’s a good draft, we believe that with our first pick we’ll get good prospect.”