The Philadelphia Flyers traded defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick.

The trade was a salary cap move for both teams, The Flyers needed to shed cap space, while the Coyotes needed to acquire it. After the trade, the Coyotes still have $13.8 million in cap space before reaching the cap floor of $52 million for next season. The Flyers cleared about $5 million even with retaining $500,000 of Grossmann’s contract. The Flyers now have a total of $6.75 million of available cap space, which could increase if the team decides to buyout Gagner’s contract.

The Coyotes would have bought out Gagner’s contract, which has one year left on it for $3.2 million, and received nothing in return.  The Flyers would have had the $4.9 million of Pronger’s contract on the books until the beginning of the season before putting him on injured reserve longterm and clearing the cap space. Now the Flyers can use that $4.9 million in free agency. The Coyotes can use Pronger’s $4.9 million towards the salary cap, even though he won’t play for the remainder of his contract. Pronger hasn’t played in a game since the 2011-12 season due to post-concussion syndrome. He currently is employed by the NHL working for the Department of Player Safety.

Gagner will join his third team in just under a year. The forward was traded twice on the same day last off-season. He was first traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Teddy Purcell. The Lightning then flipped him over to the Coyotes along with B.J. Crombeen for a 2015 sixth round draft pick. In 81 games played with the Coyotes last season, Gagner had 15 goals, 26 assists, 41 points and averaged 17:14 of ice time per game.

He was part of  the Coyote’s  power play units and averaged 2:15 of ice time while on the power play. He scored six goals, has six assists and totaled 12 points when the Coyotes had the man advantage last year. Gagner has the vision on the ice and can find the open man. The forward can play either center or wing, but he is on the smaller side. He doesn’t shoot the puck enough and needs to work on his play without the puck.

Nicklas Grossmann spent four seasons with the Flyers after coming over in a trade with the Dallas Stars during the 2011-12 season. In 198  games played with the Flyers, he had seven goals, 31 assists, 38 points,118 penalty minutes and was a plus six. In 68 games played last season, the defenseman had five goals, nine assists, 14 points, 32 penalty minutes and was a plus eight. He is a shot blocker, who averaged 2:09 of shorthanded ice time per game. In 531 career games played, Grossmann has 10 goals, 69 assists, 79 points, 288 penalty minutes and is a plus 11.

Grossmann is more of a stay-at-home style defenseman. He has the size to play on the blue line and can log big minutes, if needed. He can play physical, but doesn’t play that way every shift on the ice. The defenseman doesn’t have the offensive skills to put up a ton of points. Grossmann is inconsistent in his overall game and will turn the puck over more than he will take the puck away from someone. Grossmann is a veteran, who could provide some leadership on the Coyotes blue line.

Will this be the end of the moves for the Flyers and General Manager Ron Hextall? The fans will just have to keep an eye on them this summer to find out.


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