Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Prospal headed back to Tampa

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

The Philadelphia Flyers dealt the rights to veteran center Vaclav Prospal to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

The Flyers acquired Nashville's seventh-round pick in the upcoming draft (which was previously acquired by Tampa) along with a conditional pick in 2009.

The deal effectively reverses the one struck on February 25, one day before the NHL trade deadline, which brought Prospal to Philly for his second tour of duty.

"Vinny really didn't express much of an interest in coming back and playing for us next season," said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. "His heart is elsewhere."

The 33-year-old recorded four goals and 14 points in 18 regular-season contests last year following the trade, adding three goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff games as the Flyers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.

Prior to the deal, Prospal registered 29 goals and 57 points in 62 games for Tampa Bay, which finished with the worst record in the East.

He was originally drafted by the Flyers in the third round (71st overall) in 1993 NHL Entry Draft. After stints with the Hershey Bears and Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL, Prospal played parts of two seasons with the Flyers from 1996-98, posting 33 points in 59 games.

The slick playmaker recorded five points in five playoff games in 1997 before missing the remainder of the postseason with a broken wrist suffered prior to the club's second-round series against the Buffalo Sabres. His first exit from the organization came in a suprise deal to the Ottawa Senators with Pat Falloon in exchange for Alexandre Daigle on January 17, 1998.

Over 792 games with Philadelphia, Ottawa, Florida, Tampa Bay and Anaheim, the Czech native has 179 goals and 554 points.

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