|Flyers acquire Prospal in trade with Lightning; Tampa re-signs Boyle|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 25 February 2008 19:12|
In exchange, the Flyers dealt the Lightning minor-league defenseman Alexandre Picard and a conditional pick in the 2009 draft. The move came a day before the NHL trade deadline. The move was announced immediately after the Flyers ended a 10-game losing skid with a 4-3 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Philadelphia has been depleted by injuries after losing Mike Richards, who tore a hamstring last weekend. They're also minus star forward Simon Gagne (concussion) and defenseman Derian Hatcher (knee).
The win, sealed by Daniel Briere's goal, ended the Flyers' 0-8-2 skid and pushed Philadelphia into a tie with Buffalo for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff berth.
Tampa Bay parted with Prospal but kept Dan Boyle, re-signing the defenseman to a six-year deal worth a reported $40 million.
Prospal, who is in the final season of his contract and could become unrestricted free agent this summer, is having a strong season. He's already scored a career-best 29 goals, along with 28 assists for 57 points in 62 games. An 11-year NHL veteran who broke into the NHL with the Flyers during the 1996-97 season, Prospal also played for Ottawa, Anaheim, Florida, and spent the past three seasons with the Lightning.
``With the loss of forwards due to recent injuries, we felt that we needed to add some help to that position,'' Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. ``We believe that Vinny will bring experience with the ability to produce some offense.''
In a statement released by the team, Prospal said he expected a trade.
``My name has been mentioned all around the paper, and there have been a lot of rumors,'' Prospal said. ``Philadelphia is a great place to play because they have awesome fans, and I was drafted by Philadelphia.''
Picard, the Flyers third-round pick in the 2003 draft, has played parts of three seasons in Philadelphia. He had no points in four games for the Flyers this year, and has three goals and 19 assists in 72 career games with the Flyers.
``We believe he has a significant amount of upside in his future,'' Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said, referring to Picard.
Prospal was considered expendable for the Eastern Conference's last-place team, which wasn't expected to re-sign him after his contract ran out this season. Feaster, instead, concentrated on keeping Boyle.
``I am grateful that we were able to get the deal done today,'' Boyle said. ``This year may not have gone the way we have liked to this point. I am confident we can return to those winning ways very quickly.''
Boyle has three goals and 11 points in 17 games since missing 45 games because of a wrist injury. The nine-year NHL veteran was coming off a career-year in which he had 20 goals and 63 points. He could've become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
``Our team and our fans have been able to witness firsthand during Dan's injury and recovery, how tough it is to win without Dan in our lineup,'' Feaster said, noting the Lightning (25-30-7) are 8-7-2 in their past 17 games.
With Boyle signed, the Lightning are expected to make a bid to trade high-priced forward Brad Richards to free up salary cap space. Richards has three years left on a contract that will pay him $7.8 million a season.