Flyers trade forward Eager to Blackhawks for defenceman Vandermeer

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks added some muscle Tuesday, acquiring bruising forward Ben Eager from the Philadelphia Flyers for defenceman Jim Vandermeer.

Eager, 23, had no points, a minus-8 rating and 62 penalty minutes for the Flyers this season. The six-foot-four, 225-pounder led the NHL with 233 penalty minutes last season, despite playing just 63 games (listen to Eager’s reaction on

“We wanted a high energy player for our fourth line and Ben is that kind of player,” Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. “He is just 23 years old, he can skate and he is a very gritty player.”

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Vandermeer, 27, had two goals, seven assists and 44 penalty minutes in 26 games with Chicago. He was originally signed as a free agent by Philadelphia in 2000, and spent parts of two seasons with the Flyers before being dealt to the Blackhawks in 2004.

Chicago will save money in the deal. Eager has two years and US$1.2 million remaining on his contract, while Vandermeer will earn $1.225 million this season. He’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.