The Flyers announced on Saturday that they have acquired the rights to Dan Hamhuis along with a conditional pick in the 2011 draft from the Nashville Predators in exchange for restricted free agent Ryan Parent.
Hamhuis, 27, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but the Flyers have until then to sign him to a contract.
“Our intention is to get him signed prior to [July 1], and that is what our aim is at this point in time,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, as reported by the Flyer's official website. “The sooner that we get going on trying to get this done, the better.”
Hamhuis registered five goals and 17 assists in 78 games for the Predators last season. In his six year NHL career, Hamhuis has scored 32 goals and 129 assists while only missing nine games, playing in 483 games.
“Obviously, it is sad to leave the Predators,” said Hamhuis. “I spent some great years with them and it is great organization to be a part of. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the city of Philadelphia and the Flyers.”
The addition of Hamhuis to a defense that already includes Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, and Matt Carle gives the Flyers one of the best defenses in the league—something Hamhuis is looking forward to being apart of.
“I think Philly has an unbelievable defense corps,” said Hamhuis. “To join a corps like that makes the Flyers one of the tougher ones in the league. To play against the teams from the East, the conference has a lot of great forwards. Watching the playoffs, having a great defense will get you a long way.”
Hamhuis provides the Flyers with a speedy defenseman who plays a physical game, but also can contribute offensively. At 6-1, 209-pounds, Hamhuis will play in all game situations as he’ll contribute to both the penalty kill and power play.
“Dan Hamhuis is a good all-around defenseman,” said Holmgren. “He’s a guy who can play lots of minutes and he can play in a lot of different situations, from power play to killing penalties. He is another athlete we’d like to add to our team to continue to improve our defense.”
Another positive of acquiring Hamhuis is that it gives the Flyers the ability to rest Pronger more during the regular season. There is no long a need to play Pronger anymore than 22 minutes per game now that you have four other defenseman who can play 20 minutes a night.
Should Hamhuis agree to a contract with the Flyers, Holmgren will need to trade for a goalie and he’ll need to move a contract in the process. Speculation has Jeff Carter ($5 million) being the odd man out for the Flyers, but it could also be Simon Gagne ($5.25 million), Scott Hartnell ($4.2 million) or Danny Briere ($6.5 million), however all three of those have no-trade clauses.
Expect a very busy draft weekend for the Orange ‘n’ Black despite the fact they will not have a pick until the third round.
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