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Philadelphia Flyers bolster blueline, acquiring Carle from Tampa Bay

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Flyers added some skill to their beleaguered blue-line Friday, acquiring Matt Carle from the Tampa Lightning.

The Flyers also receive a third-round pick in the 2009 draft in exchange for forward Steve Downie, defenceman Steve Eminger and a fourth-round pick in '09.

Carle, 24, had one goal and two assists in 12 games in his first year with the Lightning. He also led the team in blocked shots (27) and was third in ice time (21 minutes 57 seconds).

"Matt Carle is a good young defenceman and we are thrilled to add a player with his abilities to our roster," Flyers general manager Mike Holmgren said in a statement. "He will add skill and speed to our lineup and should fit in great with our team."

Carle, who was acquired by Tampa Bay in a July trade that saw Dan Boyle shipped to the San Jose Sharks, is in the first year of a four-year deal that will pay him US$13.75 million. The native of Anchorage, Alaska will make $2.95 million this season.

The move should bolster a Flyers defence corps that has struggled at both ends of the ice. Philadelphia is third-worst in the Eastern Conference in goals-against, and has just two goals from its defencemen despite being one if the highest-scoring teams in the league.

Downie, 21, was scoreless with 11 penalty minutes in six games for Philadelphia, and had a goal and seven assists in four games with the team's AHL affiliate. The former Ontario Hockey League standout made headlines in September 2007, when he left his feet and belted Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond, earning a 20-game suspension.

Eminger, 25, had two assists and eight penalty minutes in 12 games for the Flyers this season.

The move will save the Lightning more than $1.5 million against the cap. Eminger is set to make $1.2 million this season, while Downie will earn $585,000.

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