|2009 - Ryan Parent||48||1||2||3||-14||20||46||42||2:13||14:46||27||3.7|
Ed. Note: This was written before Ryan Parent was traded today.
What is there to say about Ryan Parent? It's all been said before. He had a really bad (not quite terrible) regular season, got injured, came back and continued his really bad season. This then turned into a terrible playoffs for Ryan Parent, eventually leading to him being benched and then scratched.
But how did we get from a promising prospect to being benched in favor of Lukas Krajicek and Oskars Bartulis? Jump to find out.
The year started off fairly well for Parent, as he was only a minus-2 through 25 games while averaging over 15 minutes per game. Three games later, Parent was minus-5 and about to miss the next 9 weeks due to injury. But in his second game back, Parent scored his first ever NHL goal against the Panthers.
That was pretty much the high watermark for Parent's season as he would go minus-10 in the final 18 games games of the regular season. After a decent four games against New Jersey and Game 1 against Boston, Parent fell off the rails. He was a combined minus-3 in Games 2 and 3 against Boston and only hit nine minutes of ice time twice the remainder of the playoffs. Those two games? A 6-0 Flyers win in Game 1 against Montreal and a 5-1 loss in Game 3 against the Canadiens. In his final three games of the year, he played a total of six minutes and seven seconds.
Why Parent had such a bad year is up for debate, but there's no denying he had a really bad year. He could claim the shuffling of his defensive partner contributed, but he spent over 68% of his even-strength time with either Oskars Bartulis or Braydon Coburn. Maybe the coaching change affected him - he was a minus-2 under Stevens, and a minus-12 under Laviolette - too.
Most likely, though, is the fact that Parent had surgery on his back in the middle of the season. It isn't easy coming back from that injury, but Parent did. The problem was that he played like someone who just returned from back surgery. And now that Parent is a restricted free agent, the question becomes whether or not the Flyers should sign him.
It was only two years ago that Parent played 79 games split between the Flyers and the Phantoms, but he has only played 102 games since. For that reason alone, he's a health risk. Couple it with the fact that he just had back surgery (at age 22, mind you) and you have a player who cannot be counted on for next season. That's why Paul Holmgren dismissing the need to upgrade the third defensive pairing so troubling.
Ed. Note: This is the part where writing this before the trade gets awkward/fun.
None of this is to say that Parent isn't worth re-signing in the offseason. Signing Parent to a two or three year incentive laden contract with a small cap hit would be a risk worth taking. Because Parent still needs to bulk up in order to be effective, but he can't do that until he's fully healthy. This offseason will be devoted to recovering from surgery and next offseason should be devoted to bulking up. The fact that Parent is likely another year away from being productive should keep the price down, but it should be enough to keep him here.
Then again, letting Parent walk wouldn't be the worst thing in the world either.