Coyotes reach deal with Flyers, approach cap floor

In what appears to be a move to get the Coyotes to the cap floor, Arizona acquired veteran defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Sam Gagner and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2016 or a third-round pick in 2017.

Pronger is not officially retired, but he is no longer active because of concussion issues that ended his career. His salary in 2015-16 is $525,000, but his cap hit is $4.9 million, which allows the cash-strapped Coyotes to get closer to the floor, which is set to be $52.8 million next season.

Pronger, who has two years left on his deal, is eligible to gain entrance into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the class of 2015, and he is expected to be inducted. He last played Nov. 19, 2011.

The Coyotes don't currently have a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. If they acquire one, they have the option of sending it to the Flyers to fulfill the trade. Otherwise, Arizona will give Philadelphia its 2017 third-round pick.

The move allows Philadelphia to trim salary to get under the new salary cap of $71.4 million.

"It's the type of deal that works for both teams," Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall said. "I don't think Arizona's going to be up against the top and we are, and it's a deal that they get a good player and finally we get some cap relief, so it's one of those deals that works for both teams, and it certainly gets us going in the right direction."

Grossmann's cap hit is $3.5 million next season.The Flyers retained $500,000 of Grossmann's salary in the deal, according to Coyotes GM Don Maloney.

"He's a big defender and a hard defender and a very good penalty killer," Maloney said. "[Coach] Dave Tippett knows and likes him."

Hextall would not say if the Flyers planned to keep Gagner or buy out his contract.Gagner had 15 goals and 26 assists in 81 games after being traded to Arizona from Tampa Bay before last season.

"We're going to look at all of our options over the next few days and we'll make the decisions we have to make," Hextall said.

Information from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and Craig Custance and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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