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09-03-2013, 09:11 PM
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Critical Thinking

When Chris Pronger’s career was effectively ended in November of 2011, the Flyers were scrambling a bit. They utilized two unheralded rookies in Marc-Andre Bourdon and Kevin Marshall, and asked for bigger contributions from existing vets like Kimmo Timonen, Brayden Coburn and Matt Carle. But by February, Bourdon was struggling with the effects of a series of concussions and Marshall had been exposed as a limited player at the NHL level. Paul Holmgren made a pair of moves to add depth to his defense.

He traded draft picks to the Dallas Stars for veteran, stay at home defenseman Nicklas Grossmann. Shortly thereafter, he moved more picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a fading Pavel Kubina. Both players were upcoming UFA’s in the summer of 2012, as was Carle.

Grossmann played solidly in a shutdown pair with Coburn, who had signed a 4 year extension in November, just before Pronger was lost to the after effects of his eye injury and concussion symptoms. Kubina was basically just a fill in, as the former top pair minute eater was clearly no longer a twenty minute a night guy that played in all situations.
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