Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Biggest Move of the 2009 NHL off-season

Without a doubt, the biggest and most impactful move of the 2009-2010 off-season was the Philadelphia Flyers trade for former Norris and Hart Trophy winner Chris Pronger. 

The Flyers gave up quite a bit, as they always seem to do, but it will be well worth it if they win the cup this year or next.  They gave up a proven scorer in Joffrey Lupul, a highly touted prospect Luca Sbisa a 19-year-old defenseman, two 1st round draft picks and a conditional pick dependant on them winning the cup.

Paul Holmgren wasted no time in getting Pronger signed to a $34.45 million contract extension through the 2016-2017 season, which gives them an annual cap hit of around $5 million.

What makes this transaction so intriguing to me is that it gives the Flyers a stopper for Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby or whatever big gunner Philly has to face in the playoffs.  Pronger is the meanest, nastiest, dirtiest player in the NHL and he never takes a night off. 

What most people overlook when it comes to Pronger  is that he usually pockets about a dozen goals per season and chips in another 40 or so assists.  He truly is one of a kind.  The closest player to him in my opinion is Nashville defenseman Shea Weber.  What a powerful pair they would be to play against.

Last, but not least when it comes to Pronger and what will truly prove to be the most significant detail in his tenure in Philadelphia, will be the leadership and attitude that he will bring to the franchise.  This guy is a throwback and the Flyers made a great, great move in picking him up.

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