Flyers make deal with Penguins

Taylor Hall, with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, was selected No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers.
Taylor Hall, with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, was selected No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers.
Posted: June 26, 2010

LOS ANGELES - Unable to sign recently acquired defenseman Dan Hamhuis, the Flyers traded his rights to Pittsburgh on Friday night for a third-round pick in next year's NHL draft.

"I'm disappointed - he would have been a good fit for us," general manager Paul Holmgren said after the first round of the draft at the Staples Center. "We'll see what happens from here."

Hamhuis, acquired for defenseman Ryan Parent last week, can become a free agent Friday. Holmgren said he had about five offers for Hamhuis' rights.

The Penguins are having problems re-signing standout defenseman Sergei Gonchar, a potential free agent, and hope to have more success signing Hamhuis.

In another development, sources said the Flyers are trying to acquire the rights to San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov, who will turn 35 on July 25, is one of the league's most respected goalies, but he can become an unrestricted free agent Friday.

Holmgren had several talks with San Jose general manager Doug Wilson. They will continue Saturday during the second day of the draft.

Nabokov went 44-16-10 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .922 save percentage this season. In his 10-year career, the 6-foot, 200-pounder is 293-178-37 with a 2.39 GAA and .912 save percentage.

Nabokov earned $6 million last season. Because he will be 35, the cap hit will not be as severe next season.

This marked the second consecutive year in which the Flyers did not have a No. 1 selection.

They weren't complaining.

Their No. 1 picks in the last two drafts, of course, were dealt to Anaheim as part of last summer's mega-deal for Chris Pronger, who led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals.

"We took a chance to make a run at it, and we'd do it again if we had to," Chris Pryor, the team's director of hockey operations, said before Friday's opening round of the draft here. "We all saw what Chris Pronger brought to the organization."

As expected, left winger Taylor Hall was selected No. 1 overall by Edmonton. Boston, with the pick it acquired in the deal that sent Phil Kessel to Toronto, chose center Tyler Seguin at No. 2. Seguin has been compared to Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos.

Eleven Americans were drafted, a first-round record.

The Flyers will have to wait until Saturday's 89th overall pick, deep in the third round, before making a selection.

All in the family - not. Defenseman Nick Luukko could be selected in the late rounds Saturday. The Flyers, however, are not in the running.

It has nothing to do with the 18-year-old's talent.

It has everything to do with the fact that his father, Peter, is president of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.

The elder Luukko has advised Holmgren not to select his son because he doesn't want to put unfair pressure on him.

If the Flyers selected him, he would get "some criticism from people, saying you were drafted because of your dad. . . . I just think there's a lot less pressure if he's with another organization," Peter Luukko said.

Breakaways. The Flyers denied having interest in Boston goalie Tim Thomas, 36, who has three years and $15 million remaining on his contract. . . . The $80 million arena that will be home to the Flyers' minor-league affiliate in Allentown won't open until at least 2013 because it has struggled to get financing lined up, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski told the Associated Press. The Phantoms temporarily are playing home games in Glens Falls, N.Y., and had hoped to play in Allentown in 2012. . . . Jimmy Mullin, who grew up in Delaware County before moving to Minnesota, could be a late-round selection Saturday. He scored 32 goals for his Minnesota high school team this season.


Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull.

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