July 01, 2010
It looks like the Philadelphia Flyers have found their replacement for the short-lived Dan Hamhuis(notes) era. Not long before the Free-Agent Frenzy doors opened at noon ET, TSN reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning dealt defenseman Andrej Meszaros(notes) to the Flyers in exchange for a 2012 second-round pick.
In two seasons in Tampa, Meszaros saw his offensive numbers dip after scoring 110 points in three seasons with the Ottawa Senators. He'll join an expensive blue line in Philadelphia where close to $22 million is tied up among its top-five defensemen.
Philadelphia also announced it's re-signed Braydon Coburn(notes) to a two-year, $3.2 million deal. That deal puts the Flyers just about at the cap with about $2 million to spare and makes one wonder if general manager Paul Holmgren is indeed in the market for a big-name goaltender like a Tim Thomas(notes) or Evgeni Nabokov(notes). What other moves may be coming in order to make some room?
On the other side, the move releases $4 million from the Lightning's cap for next season and, according to CapGeek, gives them about $29 million in spending money.
New Lighting GM Steve Yzerman told the St. Pete Times' Damian Cristodero that his top-two priorities will be to bring on a goaltender and a puck-moving defenseman. Chris Mason(notes) and Thomas' names have been floated out there and according to The Fourth Period's Dave Pagnotta, Tampa is currently in on unrestricted free agent defenseman Paul Martin(notes).