Montreal_ There was ton of trade talk Friday night regarding a number of big names including Ryan Smyth, Ryan Clowe, Phil Kessel and Tomas Kaberle to name a few, but only one major trade went down as the Philadelphia landed All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger.
The Flyers acquired Pronger, Ryan Dingle for Luca Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul, two first-round picks and a conditional third-round pick in 2010 or 2011.
It was a costly trade for the Flyers but in the eyes of many NHL insiders, it gives them a legitimate #1 shutdown defenseman that the Flyers have lacked to matchup against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Anaheim Ducks GM said in his post-trade comments that “Pronger gives them {Flyers} a chance to win a Stanley Cup immediately.”
There was not a happier person than Paul Holmgren at the Belle Center Friday as Holmgren believes he has added the final element to his blue line.
“Through the years we’ve improved our defense, at the same time we’ve changed to be more adaptable to the new NHL, the speed of the game but when you get a chance to add Chris – He can play,” Holmgren said. “Because of his presence and the way he can pass the puck and help on the power play, he has a tremendous shot – he can bring a lot of things to our team.”
While the Flyers have bolstered their blueline, the next step is making the investment worthwhile and signing Chris Pronger to an extension.
The two sides are expected to begin negotiations on a contract extension at the start of next week and Pronger is believed to be seeking a 5 year deal worth $30-$33 million.
The addition of Pronger makes the Flyers a better team for next season, even though the Flyers won’t be as deep offensively.
Where the Flyers have to have some concern is how Pronger struggled during the middle of the 08/09 season. He is 34 years old but he found his game in the playoffs and was a dominant force through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The addition of Pronger will make the Penguins/Flyers rivalry even more heated.