Flyers snag Amonte
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Flyers acquired three-time, 40-goal scorer Tony Amonte from the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday for two draft picks and a minor leaguer.
In exchange for Amonte, the Coyotes get left wing Guillaume Lefebvre, Philadelphia's second-round draft pick in the 2004 draft and Atlanta's third-round pick this season, which the Flyers got in a trade last season.
Amonte has 13 goals and 23 assists in his first season with Phoenix. The 32-year-old right wing signed a $24-million US, four-year contract with the Coyotes last offseason after spending 8 1/2 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.
"He's not just a scorer. He's got great speed, great hands. He can kill penalties and can be used in the last couple of minutes of a period or a game," said Flyers general manager Bob Clarke. "This is a real top acquisition to our club."
The Flyers have been seeking a scorer since losing forwards John LeClair (shoulder), Simon Gagne (groin) and Justin Williams (knee) to injuries.
"LeClair should be back; we hope Gagne will be back so we should have plenty of goal-scorers spread through our lineup," Clarke said.
Entering Monday night's game at Washington, the Flyers trailed Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey by five points.
"I'm thrilled to be part of a team that's on the cusp of going all the way," Amonte said. "I don't think I can go wrong playing on this team."
Amonte scored a career-high 44 goals in 1998-99, and the next season had 43 goals and 41 assists for a career-high 84 points. In 920 career games spanning 14 seasons with the Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Coyotes, Amonte has 365 goals and 395 assists. He has scored at least 27 goals in the last seven seasons.
"From our standpoint, Tony's probably one of the top five or six goal-scorers in the last five years combined," Clarke said. "He's been a real proven goal-scorer in the league."
Amonte significantly upgrades an offence that has struggled at times in coach Ken Hitchcock's first season in Philadelphia. The Flyers scored just two goals in their previous two games both losses.