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Flyers get Timonen and Hartnell from Nashville @NHLdotcom

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Scott Hartnell from the Nashville Predators on Monday, improving a team that finished last in the NHL.

The Predators get a first-round pick - the same one they sent to the Flyers to acquire Peter Forsberg - for Timonen and Hartnell, who were to become unrestricted free agents July 1.

Both players have reportedly agreed to six-year contracts with Philadelphia. Timonen's deal is for $37.8 million and Hartnell's for $25.2 million.

Timonen had 13 goals and 42 assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-20 last season. The 32-year-old will bolster a blue line that had significant problems last season. The versatile Hartnell had 22 goals and 17 assists. He can play either wing spot.

The Flyers still hold the No. 2 pick in the NHL draft that begins Friday night. They are coming off a woeful season (22-48-12) after years of success. The Flyers missed the playoffs for the first time since 1994 and set team records for most losses and fewest points (56).

In all, Philadelphia used a team-record 49 players last season, including 15 rookies.

One of the league's top puck-moving defensemen, Timonen has 79 goals and 222 assists in eight seasons with Nashville. He is minus-6 for his career, playing mostly on a team that struggled.

The 25-year-old Hartnell was the sixth overall pick by Nashville in 2000. He has 93 goals, 118 assists in six seasons with the Predators.

It's the first time uncertainty over the Predators' future ownership has affected the roster of a team that posted a franchise-best 110 points and finished third in the NHL this season. Craig Leipold has accepted a deal to sell the team for $220 million to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, a deal not expected to be considered at the NHL board of governors' meeting Wednesday.

A local group interested in buying the team reportedly is preparing to make an offer if Balsillie's falls through. A June 30 deadline has been set to complete the sale.

General manager David Poile has not been able to settle on his budget for next season, which made it difficult to re-sign Hartnell or Timonen - the team captain and an All-Star this season.

"We expected both Scott and Kimmo to be among the most sought-after at their respective positions when the unrestricted free-agent marketplace opens on July 1, and it did not appear as if we were going to be able to sign either player before then," Poile said in a statement.


AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.

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