Predators Shake Up Roster by Trading Arnott & Hamhuis

Once again, the trades you hear about rarely happen and the trades that happen you rarely hear about. I heard nothing from any of the so-called NHL internet insiders who charge people money to get the inside scoop on trades before they happen about either one of these deal. So, out of nowhere on Saturday, the Predators traded Dan Hamhuis to the Flyers and traded Jason Arnott to the Devils.


Dan Hamhuis was set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1st and, apparently, Predators GM David Poile knew he would not be bringing him back for one reason or another. So he dealt his rights to Philadelphia and got something for, essentially, nothing. Hamhuis would have walked away in less than two weeks leaving the Predators with a big hole on defense but now they’ve got their first round draft pick from 2005 who they had dealt to Philadelphia as part of the package to acquire Peter Forsberg. Parent has 102 games of NHL experience and played in 17 playoff games for the Flyers this past season so he’s a suitable replacement for Hamhuis’ minutes. Remember, the Predators have Ryan Suter and Shea Weber so with Parent they now have three good, young defenseman to build their team around and that’s not bad. Each of those guys is 25 years old or younger.


For the Flyers this is an interesting deal as they were already in a pinch with regards to the salary cap and here they’ve traded a guy that is set to be a restricted free agent this summer in Parent for a guy that is set to be an unrestricted free agent in Hamhuis. It seems like they are trading to spend more money on that position and while Hamhuis is better than Parent right now I don’t know that the difference between the two is that great – or at least not as great as the difference between their salaries could end up being. The Flyers still have to get Hamhuis signed as well as Dan could simply say no thanks to any offer they make and test free agency on July 1st to see what he’s worth on the open market. If that happens the Predators would owe the Flyers a 7th round pick in 2011 which means that the Flyers could have dealt Ryan Parent for a 7th round draft pick. That’s a gamble and we’ll see if it pays off. If Hamhuis does sign with the Flyers then they will once again have one of the best defenses in the NHL. Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Dan Hamhuis and Matt Carle would be as good a top five on the blueline as you will find in the NHL right now. We’ll see if they are able to sign Hamhuis and retain that impressive depth.


The Arnott trade is a little less easy to understand for the Predators. According to GM David Poile he and Arnott talked at the end of the season and it became clear that it would be best for the two to go different directions. Arnott, who had a no-trade clause, gave the Predators a list of teams he’d be willing to waive it for and the Devils were the top of the list. Arnott scored the Cup clinching goal for the Devils in the 2000 Stanley Cup Final and was heartbroken when the team traded him to Dallas a few years later. Now he’s back in New Jersey and says he couldn’t be happier. He’s got one year left on his deal and the Devils are now looking very good down the middle with Patrick Elias and Jason Arnott centering the top two lines. I would imagine this takes the Devils out of bidding for Ilya Kovalchuk but we’ll see what happens.


The guy the Predators got in return, Matt Halischuk, doesn’t appear to be a star in the making but they also got a 2nd round pick in 2011. Knowing how well the Devils usually do that should end up as the 50th overall pick at best. I am not quite sure how you get Ryan Parent for a guy that is not under contract and Matt Halischuk for a guy that is but that’s the way the NHL works in the salary cap era.

Overall the Predators did a good job of managing their assets and the Hamhuis trade was a great trade for Nashville. We’ll see if Halischuk or the 2nd round pick ever turn into anything and I am not a fan of that trade for Nashville but their hands were tied with regards to where they could shop Arnott. It’s a great trade for the Devils as they improved their active roster without having to give up anything from their active roster. It’s a questionable deal for Philadelphia, especially if they are not able to get Hamhuis signed to a contract.

About Doug Stolhand 27106 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. The Flyers trade was interesting. It seemed to me that Ryan Parent got into Peter Laviolette’s doghouse during the finals. If you look at the box score from the first game against the Blackhawks, you’ll see that Parent played about one minute, was on the ice for the first Blackhawks goal, and never made it back for the rest of the game. He also didn’t play again in the series.

    Do you think maybe that it is possible that he wasn’t going to play again for Laviolette?

    That’s just my take as a non-Flyers fan. Maybe someone who follows the team day-to-day, would have another opinion.

    Thanks for the Puck Podcast. I listen every week.

  2. Again, as Doug points out, the players that EVERY pundit SWEARS TO THEIR MOTHER is going to be traded go… nowhere. Kaberle HAS to be dealt on Draft Day cause his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1! Spezza HAS to be dealt before the Draft is over! Vokoun will not be a Florida Panther on June 28th! None of these players got moved. Not a one. Meanwhile, NO ONE said Halak, Hamhuis or Ballard were going to be moved and yet they all have new sweaters to put on this season.

    Watching the coverage of past NHL Drafts on the NHL Network last week, I am further reminded that the pundits who spend all day and all night talking about hockey seem to be as clueless as you and me who spend all day and all night watching hockey. When St. Louis took Erik Johnson with the #1 overall pick in 2006, the commentators were gushing over the home run they had hit and how nothing could go wrong. Looking back on it, does anyone not think the Blues would have been better off with Jordan Staal (#2) or Jonathan Toews (#3)? Even without Johnson’s inability to drive a golf cart, I am thinking the overall careers of Staal or Toews would fit nicely into that young team than Johnson’s will. But we still have Pierre McGuire SCREAMING about how great this kid is and that nothing can go wrong with “the safest pick in the draft.”

    Look, if the legion of scouts get it wrong on multiple occasions year after year, why do we believe McGuire and Button and McKenzie won’t get it wrong as well? We seem to swear by these analysts (not just the names above) and take so much of what they report as fact… then forget down the line that NOTHING they said turned out to be right! For example, Hossa’s recent travels have recieved absolutely no true foresight as NOT ONE of the talking heads on TV/radio ever mentioned Detroit or Chicago before he signed his deals. For anyone who watches/listens to NHL Live, I would imagine you feel the same way about EJ Hradek. When the rumor of Vinny Lecavalier going to Montreal started making the internet rounds, he seemed to be “all over it” and reporting it as a deal almost done. Of course, nothing was ever in the works. He has done it again this season with his insistence that Jeff Carter was getting moved out of Philly; something the Philly GM has said was never an option. The recent belief that Kovie IS headed to LA should be taken with the grains of bitter salt that the evidence of the past here has provided.

    And someone pays money to hear about this? Anyone who does is wasting their cash.

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