Pronger deal real capper

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

MONTREAL -- The reaction was one of utter shock.

The Philadelphia Flyers have just traded what for Chris Pronger?

A former first-round pick (seventh overall) in winger Joffrey Lupul? A former first-round pick (19th overall) in Luca Sbisa? Two more first-round picks? And a conditional third-round selection?

Ah, yes, but along with Pronger they're also getting Ryan Dingle from Anaheim too, right?

Ummm, who?

"It's a lot to give up," admitted Flyers GM Paul Holmgren -- with no obvious bumps on his head -- shortly after pulling the trigger on a deal he said had been a while in the making. "Ask me in a year from now, or a couple of years from now, if it was worth it."

How the Flyers are going to fit Pronger and his $6.25-million US salary in their budget will be interesting to see. Going into the day, they appeared to be right at the cap, and Lupul was scheduled to make just over $4 million this season. Holmgren must have something else up his sleeve.

The fact that Pronger can become an unrestricted free agent after next season also makes him a tough purchase.

"Chris is a proven winner," Holmgren said, noting Pronger's size, puck-handling and physical style. "He's an ideal fit for our team.

"We're trying to win here. I think Chris will help us get closer to achieving our goal."

He better, for all that he cost the Flyers.

Starts and stops

Had to like the exchange between miked-up Leafs GM Brian Burke and his Senators counterpart, Bryan Murray, just before Toronto went to the podium to make the seventh pick overall. In case you missed it: "I'll flip you ...," started Murray. "We're taking (Nazem) Kadri," interrupted Burke. "Is that the kid you want?" Said Murray: "Yeah." Said Burke: "We'll be taking him." Said Murray: "Okay." Score a win for Toronto in that Battle of Ontario ... Might have been nice had there been sound to accompany the video highlights of John Tavares after the Islanders picked him first overall ... The reaction from fans watching last night's events on big screens from the Islanders' home rink was one of sheer jubilation after Tavares was claimed. "I didn't see it, but I heard about it," said Tavares. "Definitely having the support of the fans in the community is huge. I'm thankful for the opportunity." ... The media scrum waiting for Tavares to speak down a Bell Centre hall was also huge. "It's like an A-Rod presser," observed a New York TV guy, referring to Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

Between periods

One loud Islanders fan in attendance held up a sign declaring his team Cup favourites in 2011. "It could happen," he hollered. "One more year with Joey MacDonald in goal and Taylor Hall is ours!" Hall is the early consensus pick to go first overall in 2010 ... Of all the prospects, new Avalanche C Matt Duchene seems to have the most personality. He was overcome with joy after being selected third overall. "It's like a storybook," said Duchene. "My two favourite teams ... I come to one of the cities and get drafted by the other. It couldn't have turned out much better." Duchene then offered a confession. "I always used to draw (the Avalanche) logo in class," he said. "I don't know, I just had a fascination with it." ... When Burke stepped up to the podium and said "The Toronto Maple Leafs ..." the fans at the Bell Centre booed long and loud. The Leafs GM broke into a little smile and let them run with their exhibition of disgust for the Blue and White.

Things that make you go hmm... :

Sign of the times. It's two hours before the first name is called and some drunken fans already seated are yelling at the early arriving media guys to "put your scoops on Twitter." .... D Oliver Ekman-Larsson will play at least one more year in Sweden before joining the Coyotes. He offered this scouting report on himself after being drafted by Phoenix: "Good skating, good hands, I see the ice really good ... I think." Not even the prospects themselves can be sure how they'll turn out.

DON.BRENNAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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