In other words:
To Philadelphia: point per game forward in college (WCHA) plus one year and potential to re-sign a top-5 defenseman in the world.
To Anaheim: a top-6 winger, a great young defenseman, two first round picks, and a conditional pick.
At the trade deadline that year, rumor had it Washington had interest in Pronger, but Anaheim wanted something along the lines of Semyon Varlamov, Karl Alzner, and John Carlson for Pronger at the deadline (my memory is a bit hazy--one of the two goalies, one or both of Carlznerson, and possible a first round pick in there too).
In other words:
To Philadelphia: great young goalie prospect, one or two blue-chip defense prospects, maybe a first round pick
To Washington: One year of a top-5 defenseman.
Seems like quite a hefty price to me. Via Capgeek, this is what the Caps lineup might have looked like this season. I added Milan Jurcina and Antti Niemi to round out the roster.
|Ovechkin, A. »||$9,538,462|
|Backstrom, N. »||$6,700,000|
|Semin, Alexander »||$6,000,000|
|Knuble, Mike »||$2,800,000|
|Fleischmann, T. »||$2,600,000|
|Fehr, Eric »||$2,200,000|
|Laich, Brooks »||$2,066,667|
|Chimera, Jason »||$1,875,000|
|Steckel, Dave »||$1,100,000|
|Bradley, Matt »||$1,000,000|
|Gordon, Boyd »||$800,000|
|Hendricks, Matt »||$575,000|
|Beagle, Jay »||$512,500|
|Green, Mike »||$5,250,000|
|Pronger, Chris »||$4,921,429|
|Poti, Tom »||$3,500,000|
|Schultz, Jeff »||$2,750,000|
|Erskine, John »||$1,250,000|
|Jurcina, Milan »||$1,000,000|
|Sloan, Tyler »||$700,000|
|Niemi, Antti »||$2,000,000|
|Neuvirth, Michal »||$821,667|
|TEAM CAP NUMBER||$59,960,723|
So, the Capitals lose $5 million in cap room, have Jay Beagle instead of Marcus Johansson, downgrade at one goalie spot, and have a third pairing comprising of two of John Erskine, Tyler Sloan, and Milan Jurcina, for an upgrade at 2D. One injury away from icing a marginal NHL D on the second pairing, and also one away from relying on a terrible Cup-winning goalie. No thanks.
Last season's lineup may have looked like this:
I don't see the Corvo trade happening again in this scenario due to a lack of cap room (this roster I think would take some more finagling to get under the cap) but I can see the Belanger acquisition for PK help and Walker to be a depth forward.
If memory serves, Brent Johnson was injured.
Best case scenario here, Pronger helps the Caps in the 2009 playoff season and again through the 2009-2010 full season. After that, it seems like his salary actually hurts the Caps. I'd take Carlznerson and Varlamov helping the Caps for the next five years (minimum, I'd think) over one season and part of another of Pronger helping the Caps.
The bottom line is that the Flyers had and have more forward and defensive depth than the Capitals. They could better afford to pay that hefty dowry for Pronger. The Capitals' situation wasn't as nice. Good on George McPhee for balking, especially now that we see John Carlson and Karl Alzner making a great second pairing for much less cap hit, and with the potential to get better as well.
At the very least, gotta love his interviews.