In 2007, Paul Holmgren and the Philadelphia Flyers made a trade with the Nashville Predators for soon-to-be-free-agents Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. They knew prior to making such a trade that Timonen and Hartnell would agree to terms on a deal with the orange and black before hitting the unrestricted free agent market on July 1.
Holmgren had hoped to make a similar deal with the Florida Panthers this year at the NHL Draft here in Montreal. There's one slight issue though -- Bouwmeester isn't talking. Without a verbal agreement from the all-star, the Flyers would be silly to trade away an asset for a gamble on Bouwmeester signing before next Wednesday.
Holmgren also told Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly today that the Flyers don't expect to receive exclusive negotiating rights to other free agent defensemen Mike Komisarek or Francois Beauchemin, saying that he'd "just as soon wait on those guys until July 1."
Lemelin fired: In other news, goaltender coach Reggie Lemelin will not be retained by the club after 15 seasons in Philadelphia. There are reports that Tampa Bay Lightning goalie coach Jeff Reese could be his replacement. It was common knowledge that Lemelin and Martin Biron held a very close relationship, so one could speculate that this could be another sign that Biron is without a doubt on his way out of town.