Friday, June 26, 2009

Flyers acquire defenseman Chris Pronger

It was pretty well known that the Flyers wanted to bring in a defenseman this offseason to shore up their blueline, and it looks like they have succeeded in doing just that. The Flyers, who were thought to be heavy on the trail of Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers, changed gears and instead have traded for Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks, getting him for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and two first round draft picks ('09 and '10).

Pronger, 34, is a 15 year NHL veteran and an elite-level defenseman. Pronger, a former MVP and Norris Trophy winner, is getting up there in years, but he huge and is an extremely good checker who still produced last season for the Ducks. He is under contract for one more season, set to make 6.25 million dollars. Given what it took to get him, the Flyers will likely try to re-sign Pronger for a few more years.

The Flyers paid a big price to get Pronger, possibly too much. Losing Lupul isn't a huge blow, although he is only 25 and his best years are ahead of him. Lupul was also going to make 4.25 million dollars for the next 4 seasons, a pretty big price for a guy who will get about 25 goals for you. Trading Luca Sbisa is a big gamble, since he is only 19 and showed some definite promise last season. Sbisa still has a long way to go, but if he develops into a star NHL player, this deal will not look good down the road. Losing the first round picks also hurt, but they will both likely be late in the first and the NHL Draft can be such a crapshoot, anyway.

Welcome to the Flyers, Chris Pronger. He will instantly become a fan favorite by the way he plays. He is a big hitter who drop the gloves when needed. Let's hope he is worth the big price the Flyers had to pay to get him.

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