Simon Gagne Feels Like Paul Holmgren Slapped Him in the Face

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Paul Holmgren’s word is about as sturdy as a Jenga tower built atop a bowl of ice cream on an August afternoon.

Now Simon Gagne and Holmgren are word-fighting over the Flyers’ (correct) decision not to offer Gagne a contract.

From the fan site – not Gagne’s official site, by any stretch – comes the translation of this French report:

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.

Holmgren, of course, had a glib response to Gagne’s comments:

“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.

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  • Al Morganti September 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Amazing, isn’t it? Now that the Flyers have to manage against a salary cap, all of a sudden, the notion of “Flyers Lifers” is going out the window.

    Maybe if we had a younger and more with-it GM, instead of this “gr-eye-nder” Homer, we’d have a real team.

  • kuvasz September 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Paul Holmgren is a liar and bully who thinks that he can treat people like shit and get away with it. Too bad, because likely someone is going to fuck him up pretty soon because of his attitude and there won’t be any third-man-in to save his ass.

  • TurkeyFarts September 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Oh the Flyers misled Cleary? Or the other way around? No wonder you have zero credibility and everyone thinks you’re a tool.

    • Big Balls Chip September 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      You’re an idiot.

    • Anthony Gargano's Fake Laugh September 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      This is likely the stupidest comment ever posted on this site. Which is quite a feat. Congratulations, airhead!

  • Drew s September 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Barkann is a buffoon. Lisa Hillary left CSN Philly to escape the sheer stupidity of this dolt.

  • ledzep9zoso September 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I agree that Homer often mishandles situations and makes empty promises, but you’re absolutely wrong if you think he’s doing a bad job as our GM. That dude has built what could potentially be one of the best teams for years to come. I’m not gonna act like he doesn’t make mistakes, but he’s definitely one of the best managers in the league.

  • H.H. Holmes September 15, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I always liked Gagne, even despite his much-declined health and skill set, but he’s pretty naive to think “hints” equal guarantees in professional sports. He was s

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