The Philadelphia Flyers, mired in last place in the NHL, have traded Peter Forsberg (above, returning his jersey) and at least one working ankle to the NHL-leading Nashville Predators in exchange for right wing Scottie Upshall, defenseman Ryan Parent, and Nashville’s first- and third-round draft picks in the 2007 entry draft. Upshall and Parent are former first-round picks, but the Upshall hasn’t been able to crack Nashville’s top six forwards and Parent has yet to play in the NHL. Expect that to change in Philadelphia, where a dog with three legs and mediocre puck-handling skills would be an improvement over the likes of Derian Hatcher.
Off Wing Opinion opines:
That’s a heck of a price to pay for what may amount to an 8-week rental, but it’s a trade that’s sure to electrify the fanbase in Nashville and help pack fannies in the seats come playoff time.
I’ll disagree with Eric here. Nashville needed a genuine number-one center for Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan; if healthy, Forsberg provides both physicality and play-making prowess. Jason Arnott fits better as a second-line center for Scott Hartnell and J. P. Dumont. The deal pushes promising rookie Alexander Radulov out of contention for the scoring lines, but Nashville must’ve seen Thomas Vanek fall out of favor for the Buffalo Sabres in last year’s playoffs. Not including Radulov, Shea Weber, or Ryan Suter keeps the best of Nashville’s young players in the fold. Forsberg may be an impending UFA, but a deep playoff run may be necessary to finally get support from the business community in Nashville.