Oct 032010
New Flyers defenseman Matt Walker

New Flyers defenseman Matt Walker

October 3 Camden Courier-Post:

Matt Walker and his wife, Kate, had just landed in Vancouver and were being taxied to the airport terminal when he turned on his cell phone.

“I saw my agent’s name, and I joked that we’ve just been traded,” Walker recalled saying to his wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child in December. “It wasn’t a joke.”

When Walker scrolled through one text message after another, he quickly realized the Flyers had acquired him from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Simon Gagne.

It didn’t take long for the well-traveled, 30-year-old defenseman to realize the July 19 trade was motivated by money. Gagne, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $5.25 million, no longer fit under the Flyers’ salary cap and had begrudgingly requested a trade to Tampa.

Walker, whose contract has three years remaining with a $1.7 million cap hit, represented the money the Flyers had to take in return.

“It doesn’t matter who it’s for, that’s the business side of it,” Walker says now.

“It doesn’t make any difference to me.

“They could have traded me for a bag of pucks and I would have been happy. I’m super-excited to be here. It’s nice to be in a hockey town and especially to play for the Flyers.””

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