Saturday, June 19, 2010

Flyers Acquire Rights to Dan Hamhuis

By: Tim Brennan

The Flyers made a bold move today, sending defenseman Ryan Parent to the Nashville Predators for one of the most sought after free agent defensemen this off season, Dan Hamhuis. The Predators are also throwing in a conditional 7th round pick in 2011 as a part of the deal.

The 12th overall pick in the 2001 NHL draft has compiled 32 goals and 161 points in 483 regular season games. A key member of a strong defensive corps, Hamhuis recorded 5 goals and 24 points in 78 games during the season. In their first round playoff matchup against the eventual champions in the Chicago Blackhawks, Hamhuis recorded 2 assists in 6 games while averaging 22:25 of ice time. Hamhuis' versatility is one of his strengths, as he can play in almost any situation and can match up against the opposing teams top forwards.

The Predators reacquire Parent, who was originally drafted by Nashville 18th overall in 2005 but didn't get a chance to play for the team. Parent, along with Scottie Upshall, a 1st round and 3rd round pick were sent to Philadelphia for Peter Forsberg on February 15, 2007. Parent spent parts of 3 seasons between the Flyers and Philadelphia's AHL farm team, the Phantoms before being promoted to full time duty this season. While playing for the Flyers, Parent never found his groove, didn't seem to develop his game at all and was a liability on the backend. Parent posted 7 points in 102 regular season games with the orange and the black.

The Flyers have until July 1st to negotiate a contract with Hamhuis and they most certainly won't waste time. According to many, Hamhuis' stock has risen since his first couple of seasons in Nashville and it wouldn't be a shock if he commanded a salary around $4-5 million a year. If that is the case, don't be surprised if the Flyers let Braydon Coburn walk or get rid of him. With a blueline consisting of Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger, Matt Carle and Hamhuis, Coburn wouldn't fit in the fold.

It's strange that this same exact deal was brought up by Predators general manager David Poile at the trade deadline but Flyers GM Paul Holmgren abstained and decided to turn down the offer because he felt Parent was too valuable to the team. Really, that valuable? Then why is it that Parent suited up for 17 playoff games and only averaged 7:28 of ice time? And where was he in the Stanley Cup Finals? Coach Peter Laviolette only rolled his top 4 defenders because he didn't believe in his final pairing, which included Parent, who tended to turn over the puck more times than he got the puck out of the zone.

This will be a huge upgrade to the Flyers defense and is just one of possibly a few more moves for the Broad Street Bullies.

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