Dan Hamhuis: Why the Trade Works for the Nashville Predators and the Flyers

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Dan Hamhuis: Why the Trade Works for the Nashville Predators and the Flyers
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

While everyone in Montreal is still wringing their hands over the Jaroslav Halak trade, we must remember that life goes on in the NHL.

That is, unless you're a Montreal Canadiens' General Manager who trades a goalie. You'll probably still hear about this twelve years later.

And while things didn't get monumentally tougher in the East, the Philadelphia Flyers have strengthened their pedigree as the East's best before the 2010 NHL Entry Draft or free agency.

Meanwhile the Nashville Predators—who are a consistent threat to make the playoffs, yet can't make a discernible impact in the post season—have put themselves in prime position to improve their club.

Instead of risking losing Dan Hamhuis, a player that—while useful—was replaceable by the strong infusion of youth on the horizon in Tennessee, Nashville has sent him to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Ryan Parent and a conditional pick. 

Predators fans will remember Parent as the highly-touted young defenseman that they drafted in the middle of the first round in 2005. The burly Guelph Storm product was a key cog in the deal that got the Preds Peter Forsberg in 2007, along with a first round pick in that same draft. Four days before that draft, that pick got traded back to Nashville.

With rumors that Peter Forsberg nearly signed with Philadelphia in March (and still may get back to them as a free agent as he's still not convinced he's done with the NHL), this has probably been one of the longest stretches of re-trades in NHL history.

Sidenote: In fact, I'm not willing to look this up. Two trades branching off from the initial trade between the same two teams? It's the longest. It's now true. Don't you just love the Internet?

Barring some sort of fax machine mishap with the contract, the Philadelphia Flyers have solidified one of the most dangerous defenses in the league. Already featuring the giant (Chicago-Tribune-would-like-you-to-meet-Chrissy-?urn=nhl,246557" target="_blank">with surprisingly nice legs) Chris Pronger, the consistently under-valued Kimmo Timonen, the steadily improving Matt Carle, and the burly Braden Coburn, Hamhuis brings another defenseman capable of playing 20 minutes a night with the ability to nibble at the 30-point mark.

Hamhuis' offensive tools bring another dynamic to the Philadelphia power play; while you may not know this, he lead the Nashville penalty killers in shorthanded time-on-ice per game this season. A solid addition for a penalty kill that was 11th best in the league this season to start with.

Meanwhile the 23-year-old Parent could be entering the perfect situation after being benched the last five games of the Stanley Cup finals and struggling to see the ice more than seven minutes a game during the playoffs.

The Predators have a very young defense (outside of 34-year-old Francis Bouillon), so there will be plenty of opportunity for rotations and playing time behind Ryan Suter and Shea Weber. If Parent can stabilize himself and really learn to use his size, then the Preds get exactly what they need.

But what's more, Nashville added to an extravagant abundance of good young defenseman. Cody Franson, Jonathan Blum, and Ryan Ellis are only three of the names that will be battling for just one spot on the roster next season, and that's if Franson's performance in his rookie season (+15, 21 points in 61 games) doesn't solidify his NHL credentials or at least give him the inside track.

Nashville also finished 18th in goals-for this season, and while all of last year's forwards are under contract for this season and Blake Geoffrion is on his way, blue chip defensive prospects could easily land this team a bona fide power winger.

Who knows? Maybe Nashville pedals their way up the draft board with a few of those fresh faces. It'll also be interesting to see if Franson's restricted free agency negotiations have anything to do with this potential situation.

But until Nashville makes a move, that's all this is for them:

Potential.

While tomorrow this could be something completely different, today it's two teams making a good trade (provided Hamhuis signs with Philly), and getting a jump-start on 2010's preparations.


Follow BT on Twitter @BryanThiel_88. You can also e-mail questions, ideas, or comments to Bryan at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com. Also, be sure to check out Bryan's other work over at Hockey54.com—The Face of the Game!

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