Now Simon Gagne and Holmgren are word-fighting over the Flyers’ (correct) decision not to offer Gagne a contract.
“All summer, the Philadelphia Flyers kept hinting that they wanted to offer me a new contract and I even told Robert Sauvé, my agent, not to negotiate with other teams,” said Gagné. “We trusted them. We put all our eggs in one basket and we got caught. We never thought we’d be stuck in this situation at this time of the year…”
Gagné kept hoping to return with the Flyers up until recently. “When I heard [Tuesday] that they had given a contract to Dan Cleary, it was like a slap in the face. I’m disappointed. I knew that hockey was a business, but with all the positive discussions we had with the GM Paul Holmgren, I can’t believe I’m not back with them.”
Here’s yet another example of Holmgren angering a player or agent with his negotiating tactics. The decision not to re-sign the 33-year-old, oft-injured Gagne was the right one (-ducks- as the Type OBs hurl signed copies of old Flyer magazines at me), but, again, a player or agent is coming forward after feeling burned by Holmgren. Add Gagne to a list that includes Jeff Carter, Ilya Bryzgalov and Dan Cleary as players that were, to at least some degree, misled by Holmgren.
Gagne, especially, seems like a weird candidate seeing as though he’s widely viewed as a lifer in Flyer circles and was given another chance to wear the OB last season by Holmgren.
“We discussed it, and it didn’t work out,” Holmgren said of offering a tryout contract to Gagne.
The Flyers could not offer Gagne a regular contract because they currently don’t have cap room.
After Cleary turned down the Flyers, Holmgren said, he decided to have the young players in the organization battle for a forward opening.
There comes a point where it’s just a business becomes the foundation upon which bad business is built. Not only has Holmgren made terrible, contradictory decisions over the past few seasons, mismanaged the Flyers to a lousy cap position and guided them out of the playoffs, but he’s also pissed off some very household names in the sport. Rarely do you hear so many players complain about misleading negotiations and other supposed guarantees. It’s now a pattern for the Flyers. And how Paul Holmgren still has a job is mind-boggling to me. He’s seemingly failing at every facet of his job except for the one that calls for him to sustain a organization tradition of never taking the long view. I mean, he made two good decisions this week, and he even mismanaged those.