The Flyers Newly Acquired Defensemen—Making Sense out of the Shuffle
The Philadelphia Flyers are stockpiling defensemen ahead of the NHL trade deadline in one week.
Since this past Saturday, they have acquired defenseman Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a prospect and a pair of draft picks. They also acquired their second defenseman this week after picking up Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
As we all know by now, the Flyers have been after a left-side defenseman to help fill the gap since losing Chris Pronger to a concussion, and Grossman should be able to do that.
The big Swedish blueliner probably won't be picking up any of the offensive slack that Pronger left behind, mind you. Grossman, 27, has never been a prolific scorer. He had two pro assists with Södertälje SK when the Stars drafted him 56th overall in 2004, and he wasn't a late-bloomer by any stretch: Grossman has scored 7 goals since coming to North Americain 2005; 4 of which came with the Iowa Stars of the AHL.
However, keep in mind that this player was in no means acquired to serve the purpose of a 'scoring gun', he is on the Philly squad to build up our defensive line and we can all admit that this is a more crucial void to fill. Flyers offense is there and they have proven that in past games, the defense has suffered since Pronger has been out and the rookies trying to find their groove to fill this gap.
The prospect in the deal for Tampa is left wing Jon Kalinski, who has 12 points in 40 American Hockey League games this season. The Lightning also get a second-round pick in 2012 or 2013 and a fourth-rounder in 2013.
Kalinski was a key defensive component of the Phantoms and the heart of the penalty kill. He'll be much tougher to replace than his 12 points in 40 games would suggest.
Kalinski, likely assigned toNorfolk, will make an already strong Admirals team all the better. They have won six straight and are second in the conference.
Kubina was held out of Tampa Bay's lineup the past two games because Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman was shopping him.
Kubina has three goals and 11 points in 52 games. He has 110 goals and 382 points in 953 career games.
He is in the final year of a two-year contract and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
This deal gives the Lightning 5 picks in the first two rounds. On Thursday, the Lightning picked up an additional 2nd round draft choice from the San Jose Sharks (via the Minnesota Wild) in a deal that sent Dominic Moore to San Jose. The other extra 2012 2nd round draft choice from the Flyers came in exchange of Andrej Meszaros in the summer of 2010.
The draft selection Philadelphiais sending the Lightning in the Kubina trade isFlorida's 2nd round pick, which is a conditional selection that will be in either the 2012 or 2013 NHL draft. It was obtained by the Flyers in the Kris Versteeg trade.
The goaltending situation is an entirely different aspect and a separate article that will follow shortly. One step at a time for this squad to focus, double down and make it to the playoffs this 2012 season. The only goaltender this fan would like to see join the Flyers roster would have to be Nabokov, I have been impressed with him since The Flyers squared off against him and honestly, if we go there we need a stronger prospect in our net than has lacked since the days of Hextall.
I will not even begin to talk about who may be dealt if this was to come about, because there are still endless possibilities than can develop. Like I said, another article to come.
If a goaltender is not Holmgren's next move, there is still time for even one more defensemen to possibly join the roster...only the next week will tell for sure.
It is important to keep in mind that this current Flyers squad is one in a process of ‘reconstructive progress’, as this is how this fan attempts to remain positive and keep my mind as a Bullies fan since 1974. This team does hold serious potential to become a franchise to tangle with in the coming years within the NHL.
If these picks do not pan out, surely they can and will be moved within either the off-season or the within the next coming NHL season. Remember how short Kris Versteeg’s stay was in the City of Brotherly Love…as well as Leno. So we are not stuck in terms with either newly acquired defensemen, so let’s look to the future and hope for the best.
The Flyers next game is slated for this coming Tuesday evening, Feb. 21 @ Winnipeg 7:00 PM, televised on CSN.