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Flyers acquire Vaclav Prospal from Lightning for draft pick, prospect

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Flyers have added some punch to their offence, acquiring Vaclav Prospal from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

The Lightning received defensive prospect Alexandre Picard and a conditional draft pick in return. If Philadelphia makes it to the Eastern Conference finals, Tampa Bay will receive Philadelphia's second-round pick in 2009. Otherwise, the Lightning will receive Calgary's third-round pick in 2009.

Prospal has 29 goals and 28 assists in 62 games this season. He'll be a welcome addition to the Flyers offence, which has lost leading scorer Mike Richards and star forward Simon Gagne to injury.

"With the loss of forwards due to recent injuries, we felt that we needed to add some help to that position," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "We believe that Vinny (Prospal) will bring experience with the ability to produce offence."

Prospal returns to the team that game him his NHL start. He was drafted by the Flyers in the third round of the 1993 entry draft and spent his first two seasons in Philadelphia.

"It is something that I kind of expected - not to go to Philadelphia - but being traded," Prospal said in a release. "My name has been mentioned all around the paper and there has been a lot of rumours. They had a decision to make and they basically dealt me away.

"I am glad that I am going to an organization that I already have been involved with. Philadelphia is a great place to play because they have awesome fans and I was drafted by Philadelphia, so I am basically coming back to where I started."

The native of Ceske-Budejovice, Czech Republic, has 175 goals and 365 assists in 774 games with Philadelphia, Ottawa, Florida, Tampa Bay and Anaheim.

Prospal will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Lightning had indicated they were not going to try and re-sign the forward.

In Picard, the Lightning get a potential offensive threat on the blue-line. Picard has 38 points in 53 games with Philadelphia of the American Hockey League this season and represented the Phantoms at the 2008 AHL all-star game.

"Alexandre Picard is a young prospect with good size and excellent hockey sense who has played in the NHL," Lightning GM Feaster said in a statement. "We believe he has a significant amount of upside in his future. In moving Vaclav Prospal we wanted to add to our organizational depth, and by acquiring both a young defenceman and a future draft pick we were able to achieve that goal".


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