Dan Hamhuis was a popular name at the trade deadline, as the
Nashville Predators fielded a number of offers to trade the talented
defenseman. In the end though, no offer was good enough and the
Predators stuck with him, knowing there was a chance that they would
lose Hamhuis for nothing this summer in free agency.
Turns out the
Predators just had to wait a few months, as news broke this morning
that the Philadelphia Flyers sent defenseman Ryan Parent to Nashville in
exchange for exclusive negotiating rights to Hamhuis and a 2011
conditional draft pick.
Parent saw limited minutes with
Philadelphia in the playoffs and played just 41 seconds in the entire
series against the Chicago Blackhawks. On an already deep blueline, he
was expendable and a useful tool to get the rights to one of the better
defensemen in the NHL.
The conditional pick is contingent on the
Flyers signing Hamhuis; if he does indeed become a free agent then the
Flyers essentially traded Parent for a seventh-round draft choice next
season. A win all around.
What’s interesting about this trade was
that the Flyers were right there in the midst of the trade deadline
rumors for Hamhuis but were unwilling to part with the pieces the
Predators wanted. While he would have been an enormous boost for the
playoffs, the Flyers now have the chance to bolster one of the deepest
blue lines in the NHL.
Hamhuis isn’t a big, offensive powerhouse
from the blue line but is capable of being one of the best shut down
defensemen in the NHL. He’s also incredibly durable, missing just seven
games in six full seasons with the Predators. He is coming off a
four-year, $8 million contract and you have to believe he’s wanting
significantly more than that, as at age 27 he’s entering the prime of
his career with a chance to sign a relatively big contract.
Flyers currently sit $8 million under the cap for next season with 17
players under contract.