Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Chris Pronger Trade - Great Deal, Or The Greatest Deal?


To Philadelphia:

D Chris Pronger
LW Ryan Dingle

To Anaheim:

RW Joffrey Lupul
D Luca Sbisa
1st round pick in 2009 (21st overall)
1st round pick in 2010

Philadelphia's Take

D Chris Pronger

: 34 (35 in October)
Contract Status: Signed Through 2009-10
Cap Hit: $6.25M
Durability: Medium
Time On Ice: Very High (26:56, 2nd in NHL)
Offensive Ability: High (11 goals, 48 points, 14th in NHL)
Defensive Ability: Medium (Avg QualComp, Avg QualTeam, Avg Corsi Number)
Discipline: Low (39 Minors, 8th in NHL)
Physicality: Medium (78 Hits, 92nd in NHL)

Pronger's low number of hits was surprising, but it appears Anaheim may have been severely undercounted in that department, as their top player was 78th in the league.

LW Ryan Dingle

Summary: Dingle is an organizational player - he is 25 and just completed his first full season in the AHL.

Anaheim's Take

RW Joffrey Lupul

: 25 (26 in September)
Contract Status: Signed Through 2012-13
Cap Hit: $4.25MM
Expected Goals: 25
Discipline: Medium
Physicality: Medium

Lupul's contract compares favorably with Brian Gionta, his closest comparable on the open market this off-season. Lupul has had a strange up-and-down career; his SOG and TOI fluctuate quite wildly for a young player. If he can settle in around 3.3 SOG and a 10.5 shooting percentage, he could flirt with 30 goals most seasons.

Philadelphia had to get rid of this contract, as it was the least valuable in their eyes: youngster Claude Giroux should be able to fill in most of this production for around a 6th of the price.

The problem for Anaheim is that they have 3 legitimate top six RWs and only one LW - either Lupul or Selanne will have to convert to LW, or the team will be going particularly heavy on RWs.

D Luca Sbisa

: 19
Contract Status: RFA, Signed through 2010-11
Cap Hit: $875K

Rather than yammer on about stats, let us simply talk about the fact that Sbisa played 38 games for a playoff team as an 18 year old. There are very few players who've done this in the last 15 years and did not at least become NHL regulars - Steve Eminger is one, David Tanabe another, but both promotions were likely the result of poor management. Sbisa's junior statistics suggest a player who is very capable at the offensive and defensive end - an unremarkable but solid defenseman in the Teppo Numminen mold (albeit with more penalties). Sbisa may not play on Anaheim this year, but he is controlled for at least 6 more seasons, making him an enormous addition to an Anaheim team whose prospects are somewhat weak.

2 1st Round Picks: The Ducks traded the 1st pick they received down and selected C/RW Kyle Palmieri and D Matthew Clark with what they received. The Flyers' pick will likely be 24th or lower next season - it is hard to gauge the strength of a draft a year before, but most reports are that it will not be as strong as this year's.


There are no 'winners' or 'losers' in trades, not in a salary capped league. We can safely say that Anaheim received more than would have been expected. Let's just go over pros and cons for both teams:

Philadelphia Pro: Receive one of the best defensemen in the league for only one asset off their roster, one which they were likely trading anyway. Receive a player whose contract is expiring at the end of the season; Philadelphia has 45.6 million dollars committed to next year's team, with Lupul's deal that's almost 50 million; if the salary cap were set at between 50 and 53 million in 2010-11, the team would be in serious cap trouble. Therefore, Pronger's contract only being for one year is an asset to the Philadelphia organization, and gives them an excellent chance to make a Stanley Cup run.

Philadelphia Con: Trade their best D prospect in Sbisa and give up 2 years worth of 1sts. Philadelphia has some very strong prospects in the minors, but unless Philly drafts particularly well in the later rounds in the next two seasons, that depth is likely to slacken.

Anaheim Pro: Receive an excellent D prospect, a valuable (to them) RW, and a lot of depth and trading chips for the future, for one player who was likely walking at the end of next season regardless. Anaheim now has a ton of assets with which to play around and a lot of salary cap room - suspicion is they won't use it this season, but if the franchise becomes solvent again, it certainly can.

Anaheim Con: Give up legitimate chance at Stanley Cup this season in order to rebuild. 26 minutes a game on defense just got traded, and Anaheim's depth at that position is not particularly strong or NHL-ready at this point.


In all, both sides did a good job getting what they needed out of the other.

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