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The Storm’s a-brewing

Monday, June 30, 2008

Well, the Flyers certainly know how to move the D.

Janne Niskala, who apparently insists that he will sign with Europe’s KHL if he can’t get a one-way NHL contract, was sent packing to Tampa Bay in exchange for a 2009 sixth round pick.  Given the depth chart in Tampa Bay has a surprisingly decent depth chart for a last place team – Dan Boyle, Filip Kuba, Paul Ranger, Mike Lundin (a plus-3 rating over 81 games), and Doug Janik as primary defensemen.  They also picked up Alexandre Picard from the Flyers at the deadline in exchange for Vinny Prospal.  So I would be very shocked if Niskala managed to obtain an NHL offer from the Lightning. 

The Flyers acquired defenseman Tim Ramholt from Calgary in exchange for left winger Kyle Greentree.  It’s only an AHL trade, but it does add to the defensive stock in the Flyers system.

And Denis Gauthier was placed on waivers today.  Will any other NHL club snatch him up?  It’s possible.  Gauthier models his hard-hitting game after that of Scott Stevens and proved himself a leader while serving time on the Phantoms this season.  But Gauthier isn’t the same caliber of defenseman as Stevens, often taking himself out of good defensive position when angling to make a big hit.  We’ll see whether he clears waivers.

My prediction: Paul Holmgren is not going to sit silent at 12 noon tomorrow.  I expect to see a move to nab Jeff Finger from Colorado’s clutches.

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