A top story of the Flyers’ series against Chicago was whether our top four defensemen, led by Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen, could keep up with their squad, which ran six men deep. The results showed as the opponent’s third line kept the Flyers in check while ours was taken advantage of at nearly every opportunity.
In an effort to alleviate the pressure put on the top defensive lines, a move has been made to send Ryan Parent back to Nashville (he was originally acquired along with Scottie Upshall in the trade that sent Forsberg out of town) in exchange for the rights to Daniel Hamhuis, a 27 year old defenseman and product of the 2001 draft. Included with Hamhuis in the deal was a conditional pick in the 2011 draft.
Hamhuis is to be an unrestricted free agent come July 1st, so the organization must hustle to sign him. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, as he already has nothing but good things to say about the club and its position as a defensive powerhouse. Parent is to be an unrestricted free agent as well, and Nashville will bring him on board with a multi year deal, more likely than not.
The trade is seen as mutually beneficial for these two familiar clubs, as Nashville seemed unable to reach an agreement with Hamhuis, and the Flyers needed solidifying on their back end. Ryan Parent, at the ripe young age of 23, needs time to develop. Hamhuis, on the other hand, is at a prime age and seems to be hitting stride in his abilities at this level.
Should the Flyers resigned Braydon Coburn (another restricted free agent), they will have such depth and talent at the defensive position that they may be gearing up to not make a move for a goaltender after all, instead letting the team be led by Brian Boucher and Johan Backlund. This new and improved lineup would include Pronger and Carle, Timonen and Coburn, and possibly Hamhuis and Bartulis as the third set.