On June 19th, Paul Holmgren and the Flyers acquired the negotiating rights to Dan Hamhuis from Nashville (along with a conditional 2011 7th round pick) for Ryan Parent’s rights in an exchange of soon to be unrestricted free agent defensemen. Next year’s pick goes from Nashville to Philly if Hamhuis does not sign with the Flyers.
Nashville GM David Poile reportedly received many inquiries as to the availability of Hamhuis, but wouldn’t give teams permission to speak to either the player or his agent, Wade Arnott, before a trade. Holmgren made the deal anyway, with serious contract negotiations to start on Monday the 21st.
Here we are on Thursday and the only news is that there is no deal yet. Hamhuis is said to be looking for between $4.5 and $5 millions per year, which is probably a bit more than the Flyers are willing to offer given their tight salary cap situation. This could be remedied by trading salary from Philly’s roster, and Jeff Carter’s name is being bandied about in such discussions among the fans and media, but Carter’s production would be hard to replace in the lineup.
The negotiations continue, but if Holmgren feels that the money and/or years aren’t right for the Flyers, he still has options:
1) Trade Hamhuis’ rights at the draft. The Flyers don’t pick until the 3rd round, and Hamhuis (whether alone or in a package) could fetch them an earlier pick plus a player or prospect.
2) If no deal is to be made at the draft, he can still be traded before July 1st, when he would officially become a free agent. Unless of course some cap room opens up and Hamhuis becomes a Flyer.
I would really like to see Hamhuis as a Flyer next year. With Pronger and Carle paired up, having a Timonen/Hamhuis tandem as the #2s would be strong. Philly would have a lot of cap space tied up in their defense though…
As I’m writing this, I’m getting tweeted rumors that Hartnell is in play to LA for goalie Jon Quick plus, and that Holmgren is talking with Michael Leighton’s agent. A Quick/Leighton goaltending corps? That there’s a whole ‘nother can of worms, and a blog of its own…