UPDATED: Flyers goalie Ray Emery has been placed on long-term injured reserve. The move clears $1.5 million off the salary cap.
TAMPA, Fla. – Before we get to the trade rumors, here are a couple quick hits from practice today as the Flyers make their way to Tampa Bay to begin their 22-game march to the playoffs:
- The Flyers have waived forward Riley Cote today, perhaps in anticipation of a move that would require some salary cap space. It is the first time Cote has been waived this season. He has not played since Dec. 21.
- Oskars Bartulis did not practice again today. As I mentioned in Monday’s paper, I believe Bartulis is suffering from a groin injury sustained in Vancouver when competing for Latvia. He is doubtful for tomorrow night’s game.
- Ryan Parent skated on a pair with Braydon Coburn, meaning he is likely to play tomorrow night. Here are the anticipated pairs:
- By deductive reasoning – with roster and cap space issues – Joey Mormina could be returned to Adirondack at any time. It is unclear, as of this posting, whether Mormina accompanied the team to Tampa.
- Chris Pronger and Mike Richards will re-join the team in Tampa at approximately 3:30 this afternoon.
- I am also hearing that today is judgment day for Ray Emery with regards to his status for the rest of the season. That could play a part in the trade deadline as well.
NOW, with the deadline just 48 hours away, I am hearing from league and team sources that the Flyers are talking shop with the Nashville Predators.
That’s not surprising… the Flyers have connections to Nashville GM David Poile, they play in the West, and they nabbed Peter Forsberg from the Flyers a few years back.
The name I keep hearing is Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis.
Hamhuis, 27, is due to be an unrestricted free agent come July 1. His current cap hit ($2 million) is pretty manageable to fit this season.
Interestingly enough, I’m hearing that the Preds would like to re-aquire Ryan Parent. Nashville drafted him 18th overall in 2005. Parent was part of the Forsberg to Philly swap, even though the Flyers knew about his back problems.
Now that those back problems are taken care of, Nashville may want to take another run at him. Like an old girlfriend, the Preds just can't let Parent go...
Hamhuis, also a former 1st rounder, plays big minutes (22 min., career average) with Shea Weber and Ryan Suter down there in Tennessee. He isn’t offense minded but lays a big hit (6-foot-1, 200 lbs.) and is extremely durable: Hamhuis has only missed 5 games in 6 full NHL seasons.
With Ray Emery moved to the long-term injured list and someone like Riley Cote waived, the Flyers could fit Hamhuis into the cap for this season.
He is a guy the Flyers could re-sign for next year, too.
Hamhuis wouldn’t be a major move – an offensive shake-up that some are hoping for – but he would really solidify the Flyers’ defense corps for the playoffs. With Hamhuis, it may be the strongest set of Flyers defensemen in team history.
Hamhuis told The Tennessean that he’d like to remain in Nashville but hasn’t made any significant progress on an extension there.
I’ve heard that Nashville is dangling Hamhuis to Boston and New Jersey, as well. The Predators are trying to decide whether to keep Hamhuis for their own run (they leave the Olympic break in 7th place with 13 teams in the hunt) or get something in return.
I am working on a few other rumors, too. The Flyers and Blue Jackets have definitely spoken, possibly for Raffi Torres or Milan Jurcina, but those rumors don’t seem to be too serious.
Both the Flyers and Nashville seem poised to tango. Stay tuned.
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