The Philadelphia Flyers have continued to restructure their blueline just a few days after acquiring Nicklas Grossman. This time around, the Flyers acquired Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for second and fourth round picks. The deal is still pending league approval because the Flyers are currently over the contract limit of 50 players.
For those of you keeping track at home, you’ll note that this is the second time this week that the Flyers have acquired a defenceman for the price of two draft picks. This, however, is where things get equally interesting.
Neither pick the Flyers gave up for Grossman was originally theirs. The second rounder they shipped out originally belonged to the Los Angeles Kings from the Mike Richards trade, while the third rounder they gave up came courtesy of the Minnesota Wild in the Darrol Powe trade. They used a similar method to acquire Kubina from the Lightning.
In trading a second and a fourth round pick to the Lightning, the Flyers have given up the second rounder they received from Florida in exchange for Kris Versteeg – you’ll note that Versteeg was traded on July 1st, not signed – this summer and their own fourth round pick. It should also be noted that the Panthers can decide whether the pick is ultimately a second or third rounder here as a condition of their trade with Philadelphia.
All told, this is some creative maneuvering by Flyers GM Paul Holmgren as he has obtained two solid defencemen for one draft pick which belongs to him. While Grossman is a steady presence in the back end who is very physical and an effective shot blocker, Kubina brings more offence to the table as a good passer with a heavy shot.
This doesn’t solve their goaltending woes (more on that later tonight) but teams with defensive depth do well in the postseason and the Flyers have established just that.
We’ll keep an eye on the Flyers tonight as they look to trim their contract total back to 50.
UPDATE: Philadelphia has included LW Jon Kalinski in the deal to even out their contract total at 50.