The Flyers acquiring Chris Pronger and a minor-leaguer for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and some draft picks is tremendous. It gives the Flyers an excellent core of defensemen and provides some salary cap flexibility at the end of this season.
Ok, I know many people are bitter about giving up Sbisa and the late first round draft picks, but you have to give up something to get something. Regardless, if the Flyers didn’t get Pronger, Sbisa wouldn’t have been on the roster this year. Besides, the Flyers still have to resign Parent and Coburn to long-term deals around the same time Sbisa’s contract would expire. Personally, I’d rather have Coburn and Parent over Sbisa. Parent and Coburn are made for the NHL, Sbisa will be a fine defensemen, but no better than Randy Jones.
Joffrey Lupul was a disappointment last season and I am still not sure why Holmgren gave Lupul that ridiculous contract extension. He’s the Ducks’ problem now (or again).
The Flyers defense will have Timonen play with Parent, Coburn and Pronger and Jones and Carle. It is great that Carle and Jones will be the 5th and 6th defensemen, because that’s where they belong. If they can re-sign Andrew Alberts for the league minimum, he will be an excellent 7th defenseman.
Chris Pronger brings a much needed edge to the Flyers defense. He can kill penalties and keep opposing players from crashing the net. Ray Emery should be ecstatic to have Pronger in front of his net. A few downsides to the deal are that Pronger will be a free agent after this season, he is 34 and his presence will just make the referees salivate at calling more penalties on the Flyers. I think Holmgren will be able to re-sign Pronger, because he will love playing here and I expect Holmgren to make more moves to have the necessary cap space. At age 34, many defensemen have been effective. Niklas Lidstrom from the Red Wings is still playing tremendous hockey in his 30’s. Chris Chelios and Paul Coffey also had great seasons while in their 30’s. I’m not worrying about Pronger’s age. And, the issue of the Flyers getting tougher – they know how to play against their opponents and the referees.
I am jacked up for this season. The Flyers still need to get a face-off winning veteran center, re-sign Knuble and sign a back-up goalie. No matter what else happens this off-season, the Flyers got one of the best and toughest defensemen in the league. And by the way – Jay Bouwmeester – overrated.
Other draft news: The Flyers added two goaltenders and a few skaters. I don’t really think any of them will have an impact on the Flyers organization in the short-term. If one of these players develops, they would be considered “draft steals.”