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Immediately after trading forward Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 6’4 depth defenseman Matt Walker, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren attempted to explain his reasoning behind the move.
“When we came out of the Stanley Cup Final loss to the Blackhawks, we had specific objectives in mind,” Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com. “And the No. 1 thing on our list was to improve our defense, and No. 2 on our list was to get a little bigger.”
And he seemingly achieved both this offseason by signing Walker, 6’3 forward Jody Shelley, as well as defensemen Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros, who both stand at 6’2.
But despite the appearance of greater size and talk from the GM, the truth is in the numbers — the Flyers are no bigger than they were last year.
After weeks of searching for a roster defenseman via trade, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren was forced to hit the bargain bin on Saturday. It’s being reported that former Tampa Bay blue liner Lukas Krajicek, has signed with the Flyers as a free agent
The former first-round pick reportedly passed through waivers and was released by the Lightning, leaving him available for the Flyers to pick up.
Primarily a stay-at-home defender, Krajicek has 10 goals and 60 assists in 301 career games between Florida, Vancouver and Tampa Bay. Not a big hitter, Krajicek is adept at shot blocking.
Tampa Bay placed Krajicek on waivers with no intention of bringing him back up. The 26-year old was not having a strong year in the Sunshine state and was blocking the way for some younger guys in the Lightning organization, who are in full rebuild mode.