The worst-kept secret in Philadelphia sports is finally public. Former GM Paul Holmgren is leaving his post as President of Hockey Operations to become a Senior Advisor to Comcast Spectacor Chairman/CEO and Governor of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dave Scott:
Longtime Philadelphia Flyers senior executive Paul Holmgren will take on a new role as Senior Advisor to Dave Scott, @ComcstSpectacor Chairman and CEO and Governor of the Philadelphia Flyers, and #Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher. https://t.co/AdQtNppC02
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 11, 2019
The news comes after months of speculation surrounding Holmgren’s future with the team. Anthony SanFilippo and I interviewed Holmgren at SkateZone in Voorhees, NJ back in April and broached the subject with him.
Video after the jump:
(Starting at 21:50)
Anthony: Does the fire still burn for you? Do you see this as something you want to see to fruition before you wander off into the sunset?
Holmgren: Absolutely. I want Chuck [Fletcher] to succeed. I want Scott Gordon to succeed, or whoever the coach is moving forward. I love the Flyers. It’s in my blood. I want the Flyers to win as much or more than anyone.
Anthony: Can it get done while you’re here?
Anthony: Ya think so?
Holmgren (joking): I’m only 40 years old.
Anthony: I was just curious. I didn’t know what your plans were moving forward, so that’s why I thought I’d ask.
Holmgren: I’m excited to be here talking to you guys.
A long-held belief from people with the team was that Holmgren was chosen by late owner Ed Snider to keep the essence of the Flyers alive. There has been pretty dramatic upheaval on the business side of the organization, which we’ve previously outlined on this site and on Snow The Goalie. While plenty of fans are sure to be excited by the news of another “old guard” member of the organization taking a back seat role, there are others who would caution that this could signal yet another opportunity for the corporate side of Comcast to take over the team, effectively erasing the goodwill built up internally throughout Snider’s time as owner. While some reporters have spread the idea that this was a move that Holmgren wanted to make, there have been murmurs that Holmgren’s relationship with certain Comcast-based employees had frayed. Perhaps Holmgren was tired of fighting. Or maybe Holmgren, like Bobby Clarke before him, just wanted some time to relax, play golf, and enjoy life with his family after an extensive career in the game.
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