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Prospal traded to Flyers

DIRK SHADD   |   Times
Vinny Prospal has already set a career high with 29 goals with the Lightning, and his 57 points are more than all but two of his 10 full seasons (including this one) in the NHL.

DIRK SHADD | Times Vinny Prospal has already set a career high with 29 goals with the Lightning, and his 57 points are more than all but two of his 10 full seasons (including this one) in the NHL.

In the matter of the Lightning and Vinny Prospal, it pretty much came down to money.

The left wing apparently wanted more than Tampa Bay was willing to pay.

So instead of watching Prospal leave during the summer as an unrestricted free agent, the Lightning on Monday traded him to the Flyers for minor-league defenseman Alexandre Picard and a draft pick.

"Picking up a player and a draft pick we think is significant," Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster said. "It is obviously difficult to give Vinny up, but we didn't foresee, with the kind of year Vinny has had, a way to re-sign him."

Prospal, 33, had a career-high 29 goals in 62 games and his 57 points are his third-best. But it is believed Prospal was to ask for, depending on the length of the deal, between $3.5-million and $5-million a season, a big jump over this season's $1.9-million.

Instead, the Lightning gets Picard, whom Feaster said will be assigned to AHL Norfolk and is a building block.

"We look at it as we go forward, and at some of the things we need to do," Feaster said. "We need to start building from the back end out. This is an opportunity to bring in a defenseman who has NHL experience, is still young and who has offensive potential."

Picard, 22, is a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder who has eight goals, 30 assists and 31 penalty minutes in 53 games for AHL Philadelphia.

He had three goals, 19 points and 17 penalty minutes for the Flyers in 2006-07, and had five assists in a game against the Devils, a team record for defensemen.

Tampa Bay also got a third-round draft choice in 2009. That turns into a second-round choice if the Flyers this season reach the East Conference final.

What the Lightning will get at today's 3 p.m. deadline remains to be seen.

The Stars, who might be willing to part with highly regarded goaltender Mike Smith, seem to have entered the pursuit of center Brad Richards. But contrary to reports, agent Pat Morris said Monday night the Lightning had not asked his client to waive his no-trade clause.

Others who could be dealt include forwards Chris Gratton and Jan Hlavac and goaltender Johan Holmqvist, all potential unrestricted free agents.

Prospal, drafted by the Flyers 71st overall in 1993, and who played for them from 1996-98, could not be reached but in a statement said, "Philadelphia is a great place to play because they have awesome fans.''

"No comment,'' agent Ritchie Winter said when asked if Prospal was disappointed by the trade. "That's the best comment at this stage."

Prospal traded to Flyers 02/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:56am]
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