"Malakhov is much better with the puck and a better skater,"
Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said. "He can do things for the
team that Chris couldn't."
Philadelphia sent prospect Rick Kozak and a second-round
selection in the 2005 draft to the Rangers for Malakhov, then dealt
Therien to Dallas for a pair of draft picks.
Therien had spent his entire 10-year NHL career with the Flyers.
He was the longest-tenured active athlete on any professional
sports team in Philadelphia.
"He was a favorite of mine," Clarke said. "He played here a
long time and he played pretty good."
In exchange for Therien, the Flyers got an eighth-round pick in
the 2004 draft and a third-round choice in 2005.
The deal will be finalized as long as Therien passes a physical
Tuesday, which is the NHL trade deadline.
"Chris Therien is a veteran player who will add depth, size and experience to our defensive corps," Stars general manager Doug Armstrong said. "We're excited to add a player of Chris' caliber to our team as we head into the playoffs."
Both Malakhov, 35, and Therien, 32, could become unrestricted
free agents on July 1. Malakhov makes $3.5 million this season,
Therien $2.5 million.
"When you're in these situations, money becomes a factor,"
Clarke said. "To add a player, we felt we had to move a player.
With Malakhov coming in, Chris might not always have been in the
lineup. It's probably a real good opportunity for Chris."
The Stars entered Monday fifth in the Western Conference, only
two points behind first-place San Jose in the Pacific Division.
Armstrong said Therien's experience will be a key asset for Dallas.
"I think at this time of year, you're looking for someone who
has been through the wars," said Armstrong, noting that Therien
has appeared in 99 playoff games. "He's been with a winning
organization for a long time."
Malakhov recently missed about three weeks because of a sprained
wrist, but he's healthy again. In 56 games, he has three goals and
Still, the Flyers led the Atlantic Division and were second in
the Eastern Conference, two points behind Tampa Bay.
"I've been traded to a pretty good team that's going to compete
for the Stanley Cup and I'm pretty excited about it," Malakhov
said. "I wasn't frustrated [in New York] but I haven't played in
the playoffs in four years and that's the best time of year to play."
In an effort to begin rebuilding with younger players, the
struggling Rangers have unloaded several veterans leading up to
Tuesday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline. They also traded Brian Leetch,
Alexei Kovalev, Petr Nedved, Jussi Markkanen and Chris Simon.
Later Monday, New York traded Matthew Barnaby to Colorado for defenseman Chris McAllister, a pick and a prospect. Fellow forward Martin Rucinsky could be next. Both can become unrestricted free agents after the season.