If there’s a trade rumor involving them, it’s probably true, new Flyers centers Derek Grant and Nate Thompson have learned through the years.
Both were acquired Monday in separate deals, and both are used to changing addresses at an alarming rate.
Grant, acquired from Anaheim for a fourth-round draft pick and minor-league forward Kyle Criscuolo, joined his seventh organization since 2013-2014, while Thompson was dealt at the trade deadline for the third straight season and is with his eighth team -- and fifth since 2017.
The trade deadline is "always a busy day,” Grant said after joining the Flyers for their morning skate Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center. “I found out pretty early, Pacific time, obviously, so it gave me the day to get organized. Pack up and do some laundry and get on a plane. It always happens quick, and I got in this morning. It’s nice to get into a game right away.”
Both were in the lineup Tuesday against visiting San Jose. Grant centered the third line, and Thompson centered the fourth unit. Both were also slated to play on the penalty kill.
After acquiring Grant, Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said he would use him at wing, but he changed his mind and moved Scott Laughton from third-line center to second-line left winger because he has liked his chemistry with center Kevin Hayes in previous games. They were on the same line in 21 games before Tuesday.
As for Thompson, he wasn’t looking at his latest trade – he was acquired from Montreal for a fifth-round selection in 2021 -- as being cast away by a team.
“At least I’m wanted, I guess,” he said, smiling. “I’m excited to be playing some meaningful games here and making a push for the playoffs. The team is playing well, so I’m just going to try to do my job and help.”
Grant, who scored 14 goals for Anaheim but started 70% of his shifts in the defensive end, centered James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Pitlick.
He said it wouldn’t take long to develop some chemistry.
“Obviously, there’s a bunch of skilled guys here,” said Grant, who added he was looking forward to playing with a strong player in front like van Riemsdyk. “We all play the same way for the most part. Just [need] a lot of communication and try to figure out where each other is going to be is probably the biggest thing. You talk through it on the bench between shifts.”
Both players were excited to be going from a struggling team to a playoff contender.
“It’s like a whole new life,” said Thompson, who got welcoming calls from Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, and Hayes on Monday night.