Friday, June 20, 2008

Flyers continue dealing, acquire defenseman Eminger from Washington

The Flyers continue to make moves to shore up their defense on Draft Day. First, the Flyers traded R.J. Umberger to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a pair of draft picks. Then, with the 19th pick in the draft the Flyers picked up defenseman Luca Sbisa. Finally, the Flyers traded their original first round pick, 27th overall, to the Washington Captials for defenseman Steve Eminger and the 84th pick in the draft.

Sbisa has decent size (6'1'', 190) and described as a good puck mover, much in the mold of Mark Streit of the Montreal Canadiens. He's from Switzerland and was believed to be amongst the top 12 North American players in the draft. For more on Sbisa, click here for his profile from Hockeysfuture.com.

For more immediate help, the Flyers acquired Steve Eminger. Eminger, 24, is a restricted free agent who was the 12th overall selection by the Washington Capitals back in 2002. He has spent parts of the last 5 seasons in the NHL, accumulating 6 goals and 37 assists to go with a plus/minus of -44. He is coming off a season where he dealt with an ankle injury that limited his playing time and he was a healthy scratch for a number of games, but he did see solid ice time when the Capitals played the Flyers in the first round, even scoring a goal in the fourth game of the series. Eminger is a puck-moving defensman, something the Flyers desperately need. He often played on the power play in Washington, and can lead the rush out of the zone. Eminger clearly is a talented player who needed a fresh start and the Flyers are prepared to give him one.

So, to sum up the day, the Flyers lost R.J. Umberger and a 4th round pick but added Steve Eminger, Luca Sbisa and two 3rd rounders. The Flyers dealt away from a position of strength to pick up their biggest need: defense. Eminger still has to be signed, but he will likely sign for a little over a million bucks, his salary last season, so the Flyers should still have room to maneuver under the cap to add more pieces.

The Flyers continue to shift and mold their team, adding players that fill in the holes from last years squad. Eminger isn't the top flight defenseman we hoped the Flyers would add, but he will certainly be a 4th or 5th d-man. GM Paul Holmgren clearly has some more moves up his sleeve, it will be interesting to see what else he can pull off to improve the team.

1 comment:

Edward said...

This the same eminger that only played in about 20 games for the Caps?? Not so sold on this move considering the top two rated goalies were available! Now Detroit grabs one although I would Have rather seen us draft Markstrom!