Flyers trade picks, prospect to Coyotes for Gauthier

Updated: March 9, 2006, 1:52 PM ET
Associated Press

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers bolstered their defense on Thursday, acquiring veteran Denis Gauthier from the Phoenix Coyotes hours before the trade deadline.

Defense
Phoenix Coyotes

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM G A PTS +/- PIM
45 2.0 10.0 12.0 -4 61

The Flyers sent a pair of second-round picks in this year's NHL draft and minor leaguer Josh Gratton to Phoenix for the 29-year-old Gauthier. The hard-checking Gauthier adds depth along Philadelphia's blue line, which has been depleted by injuries.

Defensemen Kim Johnsson (concussion) and Chris Therien (head) remain sidelined and captain Derian Hatcher went out with a bruised knee during a shootout victory Wednesday over Carolina.

Gauthier had 12 points and a minus-4 rating in 45 games with Phoenix. He missed 17 games with finger and shoulder injuries this year. Gauthier will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and is making $1.33 million this year.

Gratton is an enforcer who has racked up 265 penalty minutes in 53 games with the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms this season. The forward also has 19 points. He had no points and 14 penalty minutes in three games with the Flyers.

Gauthier was a first-round pick (20th overall) by Calgary in 1995. He played seven seasons with the Flames before joining the Coyotes this season. He has 70 points (15 goals, 55 assists) and has a plus-11 rating in 429 career games.

Philadelphia, which was atop the NHL standings in mid-January, has dropped to fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but trails the Atlantic Division-leading New York Rangers by only one point.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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