I applaud Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren for his moxie, for going out on a proverbial limb and trying to win a championship this season.
Chris Pronger, whom Holmgren acquired from Anaheim Friday, is just the type of physical defenseman the Flyers needed to become a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
But the Flyers paid too much.
The Ducks received Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, two No. 1 draft picks and a conditional third-round selection.
Sources tell me the St. Louis Blues made a late bid to acquire Pronger, and that may have caused the Flyers to "up" their offer.
Trading Lupul, a 25-goal scorer last season, was actually beneficial because his big contract ($4.25 million during each of the next four years) was weighing down the Flyers’ salary cap. And I can understand that giving the two No. 1 picks was necessary to acquire a player of Pronger’s stature.
But including Sbisa in the deal is what I don’t like.
Sbisa, 19, spent about half of last season as one of the Flyers’ regular defensemen _ and he showed poise beyond his years and was one of the team’s best skaters. The kid looks like he’ll be a star someday.
In short, this deal would look a lot more attractive if the Flyers had included one of their other defensive prospects instead of Sbisa.
That said, assuming Pronger, 34, signs an extension on his one-year contract _ all signs point to that happening _ the Flyers should battle the Penguins and Bruins for Eastern Conference supremacy in the next few years.
And maybe, just maybe, bring Philly its first Cup since 1975.
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The Flyers continued their Great Goalie Search Saturday by selecting goaltenders Adam Morrison (third round) and Nicola Riopel (fifth round) in the NHL draft.
The raw-but-promising Morrison was taken with the club’s first pick in the draft.
For those scoring at home, the Flyers have now selected 23 goalies in the last 16 drafts. They have not had one of their drafted goalies turn into their No. 1 netminder since Ron Hextall, who was selected in the sixth round (119th overall) in the 1982 draft.
A look at the Flyers’ picks: