Hamhuis is in. So, who’s out?

The Flyers traded defenseman RFA Ryan Parent to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Dan Hamhuis, who is set to become a free agent on July 1. Parent, a former first round pick of the Predators, suffered a rash of injuries and never lived up to his potential in Philadelphia.

Though the Flyers have not signed — or, at least, announced — a new contract with the physical defender, it’s reasonable to assume they will do so. As pointed out on Twitter by Greg Wyshynski, of Puck Daddy fame, it was 3 years and 1 day ago that the Flyers traded a first round draft pick for the rights to pending UFAs Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. Paul Holmgrem has experience in dealing with these matters. Even if Hamhuis does not sign in Philadelphia, the Flyers are covered. They also received a conditional pick in the 2011 draft.

At the trade deadline, the Flyers reportedly came close to landing Hamhuis. So, it should not come as a great surprise that they dealt for him. The surprising part is that they do not have the cap space available to sign him. Back in February and March, hockey pundits estimated that Hamhuis would command between $4-5 million per year on the free agent market. Since the Flyers already have a solid top 4 on the blueline, acquring Hamhuis doesn’t make much sense on the surface.

Many Flyers fans are very excited about having what might be the best defense in the league, according to the posts on social networking sites and hockey forums. However, the Flyers need to move a big salary to keep Hamhuis and that trade might cost the Flyers a veteran defender.

Kimmo Timonen is one of the most underrated defenders in the league, but he is also 35 and, at the moment, has the second highest cap hit on the team ($6.33M). Hamhuis may be his replacement. Hamhuis, who can play big minutes, is 8 years younger and will likely cost about $2M less per year. The Flyers can save significant cap space that can be used towards acquiring a goalie, a first line right winger, or to extend a core player like Claude Giroux. Timonen could also be used as bait to fill the team’s biggest need(s).

It would be a shame to lose Timonen but it might be a necessary evil.

  • sonny lusch

    Hamhouse will NEVER be a replacement in the true sense of the word for Timonen…definitely for Parent. This was a steal if it were just to replace that young traffic-cone substitute. However, I’m concerned about what it means in the short-and-long term because of the cap angle.

    I’d hope that the club gets rid of Krajicek instead of having Timonen off the books. If Timonen somehow has to go, you’re not gonna have anything close to a Cup-winning defense – and that means the Flyers take a step backwards next year.

    • http://flyersfaithful.com propper

      I certainly don’t mean to insinuate that Hamhuis is as good as Timonen but there are distinct advantages to swapping the players out. To expand on your concern, If the Flyers keep Hamhuis and Timonen, they will likely have over $19M tied up in four defenders. Re-signing Coburn could put that number around $22M. That’s a ton of money to have tied up in 5 people, two of whom are over 35 and on the downside their career.

      Trading Timonen could net the Flyers the prized franchise goalie — if not more — that has eluded the team for years. It would also save money off the cap that would allow the team to upgrade another at another spot, like a third pairing defender.

  • sonny lusch

    Hamhouse will NEVER be a replacement in the true sense of the word for Timonen…definitely for Parent. This was a steal if it were just to replace that young traffic-cone substitute. However, I’m concerned about what it means in the short-and-long term because of the cap angle.

    I’d hope that the club gets rid of Krajicek instead of having Timonen off the books. If Timonen somehow has to go, you’re not gonna have anything close to a Cup-winning defense – and that means the Flyers take a step backwards next year.

    • http://flyersfaithful.com propper

      I certainly don’t mean to insinuate that Hamhuis is as good as Timonen but there are distinct advantages to swapping the players out. To expand on your concern, If the Flyers keep Hamhuis and Timonen, they will likely have over $19M tied up in four defenders. Re-signing Coburn could put that number around $22M. That’s a ton of money to have tied up in 5 people, two of whom are over 35 and on the downside their career.

      Trading Timonen could net the Flyers the prized franchise goalie — if not more — that has eluded the team for years. It would also save money off the cap that would allow the team to upgrade another at another spot, like a third pairing defender.