Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pronger to Philly trade breakdown

ANALYSIS: Not many people in Pens nation were pleased when the Flyers acquired Chris Pronger last night. The Flyers had to pay a steep price to get a guy who's going to be a UFA next summer and is seeking a long term extension worth 5-6 mil/yr. Top 6 winger Lupul, talented youngster Sbisa, and 2 first round picks went to the Ducks. Lupul was their biggest trade bait, he cleared a ton of cap space ($4.5 mil), and because they have Claude Giroux waiting to crack the top 6 Lupul became expendable.

Sbisa played in 37 games last year with the Flyers at only 19. He's got an immense amount of offensive talent. Another puck moving defenseman who will likely take over the reign of Niedermayer once he retires in a couple years. The Ducks will have a ton of offense from the blue line to look at down the line: Ryan Whitney, James Wisniewski, and now Luca Sbisa. Great deal by Ducks GM Bob Murray, they weren't going to sign either Niedermayer or Pronger so one of them had to be dealt, and what a return they got.

From the Flyers standpoint, they have added the best defenseman on that team since Mark Howe from the 80s teams. They have brought in a shutdown guy who can bring everything: nasty play, can play point on the power play, and has a great first pass. Pronger fits right in Flyer nation. The Ducks Bob Murray believes they have a legit shot at the cup now with Pronger. Do I agree? Maybe, the big question again will be there goaltending but getting Pronger will truly help in trying to beat the Flyers biggest threats in the conferece: Pens and Capitals.

I think Pronger will get paired with Timonon as Timonen is a similiar player to Niedermayer. They'll have Ryan Parent, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle and Randy Jones to fill out their core. Alberts looks to be gone with this deal. Philly will have an interesting mix of big, puck moving, and in your face defenseman. They will now have 2 good groups of defense to try and stop Sid's line and then Geno's line. Mmmmm, the Pens Flyers rivalry just got a tad bit nastier. But if the Flyers don't win the cup in the years Pronger is there, this will go down as one of the worst trades in Flyers history. Especially considering the upside of Lupul, Sbisa, and 2 1st round picks!
I think the Pens should look to get tougher come July 1st. UFAs : Mike Knuble, Eric Cole, and Chris Neil should be considered. At a cheaper price a younger guy like Travis Moen could be looked at. Moen would be a great 4th line or 3rd line guy to have.

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