Predators trade Arnott back to New Jersey, Hamhuis to Flyers
It was a busy day in Nashville today, as GM David Poile and the Predators made two moves that have significantly changed the face of their organization.
First, they traded the rights of pending UFA defenseman Dan Hamhuis to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for D Ryan Parent. The Flyers also received a conditional draft pick, presumably in case Hamhuis does not sign with the Stanley Cup runners-up.
Rumors had been circulating that the 27 year old native of Smithers, British Columbia would not return to the Predators next season and would cash out this summer during free agency. In 483 career NHL games, Hamhuis has accumulated 32 goals and 129 assists with a +3 rating. Last week, TCL ranked Hamhuis #4 on its list of free agents for this upcoming summer.
This, of course, is not the first time Philadelphia has traded for the rights to a pending UFA in order to bolster their line-up, acquiring Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen from the Predators themselves three years ago, almost to the day.
"Hamhuis is a good all-around defenceman," Holmgren said in a press release. "He has been in Nashville since his draft year. He's a guy who can play lots of minutes and he can play in a lot of different situations, from power play to killing penalties."
Completing the circle is Ryan Parent, who returns to Nashville, the team that drafted him in 2005 before shipping him to Philadelphia in a deal that involved Petr Forsberg.
In their second deal of the day, the Predators sent their captain, Jason Arnott, to the team where he used to play, the New Jersey Devils. The trade would bring right winger Matt Halischuk to Nashville, along with a second round pick in 2011.
Arnott, who spent 5 seasons in New Jersey and won a cup with the team in 2000, said he was "excited," to return to his old team and that he "always wanted to come back to Jersey at some point in my career and now it has happened, so I am really looking forward to it."
The Devils traded Arnott to the Dallas Stars in 2002 with Randy McKay and a 1st round pick for Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langernbrunner, a key move towards their 2003 cup win. Arnott later signed with the Predators as a UFA in 2006. He will be entering the last year of that contract as a Devil.
Arnott will be 36 in October, and will make $4.5 million this upcoming season.
While the two deals solidify the teams receiving the marquee players, one has to wonder the intent of the Predators in making two sellers' moves. Of course they are a very competitive team and will find young players to replace Hamhuis and Arnott, but to say that the loss of these two players is major for the Predators is an understatement.
These deals, along with the Jaroslav Halak trade from Thursday, have seemingly opened the pre-free agency/draft floodgates. Stay tuned for all the breaking news and deals!