Now and Later: Flyers Acquire D Pronger with eye towards 2009-2010

26 06 2009

by John Ryan

While the Philadelphia 76ers were still celebrating their drafting of Jrue Holiday, the Flyers made a strong move article_11927_2towards making a Cup run in 09-10 by acquiring stout defensemen Chris Pronger from Anaheim. The move was a cost cutting move for Anaheim who had to contend with defensemen Scott Niedermeyer deciding to return next season with the Ducks. The move was costly for the Flyers, however, as they had to give up Jofrey Lupul and Lucas Sbisa and two first round draft picks (2009 and 2010).

PCP Analysis: While I don’t profess to be an expert in hockey, I do like the move. Sbisa is going to be a terrific defensemen in the league for a long time in my opinion, but they sorely needed a guy like Pronger who can score, hit, and intimidate. Lupul also was a key loss. He has scored 49 goals the past two season. Some other ramifications to consider: The move leaves the Flyers approx. 2.5 million under the NHL salary cap. They still need a backup goalie, and maybe another defensemen and maybe another winger. They also stand to lose Mike Knuble, as some are speculating that Knuble will get his desired long term pact from the Penguins. He will be hard to replace in a lot of ways. They are closer to a cup, though. They still run forwards out there such as Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Danny Briere, Claude Giroux, and Scott Hartnell. Key this year will be, as always though, the play of the defense and newly acquired Ray Emery. I still see a few missing pieces before they dethrone the Penguins. Meanwhile, the 76ers still seem a few years away from even cracking the top 4 in the suddenly “Beast” of the East.

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