Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flyers acquire defenseman Mezsaros from Lightning

Moments before NHL free agency began, the Flyers struck with their first big move of the offseason, acquiring defenseman Andrej Mezsaros from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2012 second round pick. Meszaros is a big (6'2'', 220), young defenseman who comes to the Flyers with a hefty 4 million dollar per year cap hit through the end of the 2013/14 season.

After trying and failing to sign Dan Hamhuis, it was clear the Flyers were on a mission this offseason to add a 5th solid defenseman into the mix. Mezsaros is that guy, and at only 24 and signed for the next 4 seasons, he's going to be in a Flyers jersey for several years. While he doesn't put up big offensive numbers (143 points in 379 career games), he is a big-time hitter and is exactly the kind of big, tough d-man that the Flyers and their fans love.

With Mezsaros added to the mix, what will the Flyers do next this offseason? Given they just used up 4 million dollars in cap space, it looks like the Flyers will have to move one of their expensive forwards off the roster if they plan to re-sign Braydon Coburn and bring in another goalie. This could also be the one big move the Flyers make because if they simply re-signed Coburn and fellow RFA's Darroll Powe and Dan Carcillo and added another cheap forward at one million per year, they are going to be right up against the cap. Of course, the offseason is just under way so who knows what else the team has in the works; certainly, no one saw this Mezsaros deal coming.

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