Friday, June 26, 2009
Updated: June 27, 1:46 PM ET
Roundup: Pronger traded to Flyers
ESPN.com news services
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers made the biggest early splash at the NHL draft when they acquired star defenseman Chris Pronger on Friday.
Pronger and prospect Ryan Dingle went from the Anaheim Ducks to Philadelphia for forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Luca Sbisa, first-round picks in 2009 and 2010 and a conditional third-round pick in 2010 or 2011.
The 34-year-old Pronger, who had 11 goals and 37 assists in 82 games last season, is going into the final year of a contract that will pay him $6.25 million next season.
"I wouldn't say I'm surprised," Pronger said. "When you hear it persistently over and over again, you figure it's probably going to become reality and you start planning.
"I'm very excited. The fans are passionate about hockey. The style of play the Flyers play certainly fits mine. They've got some great young talent. I hope to help them win a Stanley Cup."
General manager Paul Holmgren said he targeted the 6-foot-6 Pronger because he wanted to add some intimidation to his defense.
"I think Chris Pronger is still one of the top defensemen in the league," Holmgren said. "I think he makes everyone around him better. He's a winner, he's won a championship. He's a tremendous character player, he works hard. I wanted a guy who would make life miserable for the other team. Chris is one of those guys."
Anaheim general manager Bob Murray publically thanked Pronger, but said it was the right time to make this trade.
"Things kept coming at me," Murray said. "It was a deal that I felt I just had to make. It was easier to make when [Scott Niedermayer] said he was going to play but I was going to make it anyway. I talked to Paul for a while and I just decided it was time to go forward. It was something we had to do."
Pronger was the second overall pick in the 1993 draft and broke into the league that year with the Hartford Whalers. He was traded to St. Louis after the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season and spent nine years with the Blues.
He was dealt to Edmonton in 2005 and helped the Oilers get to the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, where they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.
Pronger would get his championship the next season. The Oilers sent Pronger to the Ducks after he requested a trade, and Anaheim went on to win the 2007 Stanley Cup over the Ottawa Senators in five games.
In 1,022 career games, Pronger has 142 goals and 464 assists for 606 points.
Lupul, 25, returns to Anaheim after scoring 25 goals and 25 assists in 79 games with the Flyers last season. He'll make $4.25 million next season in the first year of a four-year contract extension he signed last July.
Lupul was taken seventh overall in the 2002 draft by Anaheim and broke into the league in 2003-04 with the Ducks, scoring 31 goals and adding 21 assists. He was traded to Edmonton in 2005, where he spent one season before being dealt to Philadelphia.
In 372 career games, Lupul has 102 goals and 109 assists.
The 19-year-old Sbisa was taken 19th overall by Philadelphia in the 2008 draft. The defenseman played 39 games with the Flyers last season.
• The Columbus Blue Jackets swapped two draft picks to the New York Islanders for four selections in Friday night's NHL draft.
The Blue Jackets dealt their only first-round pick, No. 16 overall, along with their third-round pick, No. 77.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.