Nate Thompson and Derek Grant were traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in separate transactions for the forwards on Monday.
Thompson was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. Grant was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for forward Kyle Criscuolo and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The pick going to the Ducks will be the better of the Flyers' selection or a pick previously acquired from the Nashville Predators.
[RELATED: 2019-2020 NHL Trade Tracker]
"There's no doubt that they both bring different aspects to a team," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We did a lot of homework, we did a lot of checking in on different players that we felt were available. At the end of the day (general manager) Chuck [Fletcher] was able to do this, which I think is good for our team. It's good as far as depth, I think it sends the right message to our group that we think we can get in and we've added some pieces that give us some added pieces that are useful and that you need in a final push. I think this is all positive. Now we've got to figure out where all the pieces go and where they can help our team win."
The Flyers (35-20-7) are 12-4-1 in their past 17 games and are three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division. They play the San Jose Sharks at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, NBCSCA, NHL.TV).
Thompson had been acquired by the Canadiens in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 11, 2019 and signed a one-year, $1 million contract April 25, 2019. He can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The 35-year-old has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 63 games this season.
"It's exciting," Thompson said. "To have this chance to play on a really good team that has had a really good year all year, I'm just excited. I feel like I am just going to relish the opportunity. Come in and do my thing and do my job and try to compliment the team and help the team win."
Selected by the Boston Bruins in the sixth round (No. 183) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Thompson has 155 points (62 goals, 93 assists) in 760 regular-season games with the Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders and Bruins. He has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 62 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Grant signed a one-year contract with the Ducks on June 20, 2019 and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The 29-year-old has 20 points (14 goals, six assists) in 49 games this season.
"He is a good player," Thompson said of Grant. "He is hard to play against. I think every time I have played against him when he was with Anaheim and Pittsburgh, he was one of those guys that you know you are in for a tough night. He is very versatile. I am excited to be playing on the same side as him."
Selected by the Ottawa Senators in the fourth round (No. 119) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Grant has 65 points (30 goals, 35 assists) in 257 regular-season games and no points in four Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Fletcher said the trades would have no bearing on the potential return of center Nolan Patrick, who has not played this season because of a migraine disorder.
Patrick has been skating but has not been cleared for contact.
"I don't think it says anything about Nolan's situation in particular," Fletcher said. "Obviously there is uncertainty. He had a good day today. I think our hope is he can continue to progress and sometime in the next couple weeks he can get to full contact and full practice and get to unrestricted practice I guess you could call it. From there, the next step is games. I still believe he will play. I am not a doctor. I am not basing it on any specific knowledge other than I have seen the improvement. I speak to him most days. I am still hopeful and expecting him to play this year. But we are not there. We have some more steps to go. There is still that uncertainty, but he would be a great add. … He could play anywhere. He is a guy I believe could play wing if he had to. He could certainly play center. He could move up and down your lineup. He has a tremendous skill set. He would be a really nice addition, and I hope that comes to pass."
Criscuolo had 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 40 games with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. The 27-year-old has nine games of NHL experience, with the Buffalo Sabres in 2017-18. He signed a one-year, two-way $700,000 contract with the Flyers on July 1 and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
The Flyers also loaned forwards Joel Farabee and Connor Bunnaman to Lehigh Valley.