Posts for paul holmgren

Some Thoughts on Flyers President Paul Holmgren’s Move to Senior Advisor

Russ Joy - July 11, 2019

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:

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:

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Here’s the Official Flyers Press Release

Kyle Scott - May 7, 2014

It begins:


The Philadelphia Flyers today named Paul Holmgren President and Ron Hextall General Manager.

In his new role, Holmgren will oversee both the business and hockey operations of the Flyers and will report directly to Flyers Chairman Ed Snider. Hextall will become responsible for the day-to-day management of the Flyers’ hockey operations and will report to Holmgren. Both appointments are effective immediately.

I love how they’re couching this as “promotions.” But it’s a fairly obvious alternative to: “Paul Holmgren continually displayed an inability to build a balanced hockey team, so we brought in another Flyer because that’s what we do.”

But the fact that Holmgren will oversee both business and hockey operations is absurd. Where on the resume of a former hockey tough guy does it say that he’s qualified to do anything remotely related to running a major business?

The rest of the press release is after the jump. Continue Reading

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The Flyers are Interested in Trading for Ryan Kesler Because They’re Required By Law to Be Interested in Blockbuster Trades

Kyle Scott - March 4, 2014

Photo credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Excellent report by Frank Seravalli in the Daily News this morning.

Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, who has a full no-trade clause, is on the market. The Penguins are seemingly the favorite to get him, but they now consider the Flyers and Blackhawks as their main competitors.

Two sources told Seravalli that the Flyers have made a “substantial offer,” one that likely includes Brayden Schenn and many other moving parts.

Kesler reportedly hasn’t requested a trade, but he may be willing to accept one. How might one know that? Oh, well that’s the fun part:

However, a source says former Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was actually among those who became close to Kesler with Team USA at the Olympics and passed on word that he might not be entirely happy in Vancouver.

Kesler, 29, holds the keys in this negotiation with a full no-trade clause. The Penguins are reportedly his first choice destination, with Philadelphia serving as his backup plan. Numerous reports stated Kesler – a Michigan native – is not interested in a trade to another Canadian market.

I read that approximately three times to make sure I was comprehending it correctly– Peter Laviolette supposedly passed on word to the Flyers that Kesler isn’t happy in Vancouver. Huh. I guess you really are a Flyer for life once you work for The Chairman and his overlord bosses.

Kesler is a top two-way forward and has 21 goals and 18 assists this year vs. Schenn’s 16 and 18. But, Schenn is much younger. And cheaper. Kesler has two years left (after this season) on his six-year, $30 million contract– each at $5 million. Schenn will become a restricted free agent this summer, but won’t get anywhere near that much.

Seravalli says that the Flyers would prefer trading Schenn over Sean Couturier, which is good, because if the Flyers trade Sean Couturier, I… will write very bad things about Holmgren.

I don’t know if I’d do anything right now. The Flyers are playing like one of the best teams in hockey since January. Any playoff success they have this year will be considered a bonus. They always mortgage the future for the present and, well, it’s never worked. Trading Schenn and others for Kesler at this point is messing with a good thing. Does it make that good thing better? Maybe. Maybe not. But this seems like as good a year as any to just stay the course, maybe add a small piece or two.

Of course, there’s also the possibility the Flyers are leaking this stuff so Pittsburgh has to give up more for Kesler.

Some Thoughts on Why the Flyers are a Laughable Mess

Kyle Scott - October 7, 2013

I don’t have the energy to write another post on the matter, but these are some of my asides from the running commentary post earlier today that may have gotten buried:

Three games. Yeah, it’s obvious the Flyers have a ton of problems. But, like the Phillies, this is more the GM’s fault than the coach’s. In three years, Paul Holmgren has (this might become a run-on sentence) traded the captain and leading scorer from a Stanley Cup team, overpaid for a goalie and then traded his backup who went on to win the Vezina and replaced him with his mediocre backup, traded a promising young forward who had just been given a long-term contract, missed on signing big name free agents, and, with no plan B, settled on giving mid-30s players too-long contracts all while extending Zac Rinaldo and Jay Rosehill because, yeah, THEY’RE IMPORTANT.

Meanwhile, the young forwards that were supposed to be sooo promising haven’t exactly done anything yet (except for Jake Voracek), meaning that the Flyers have traded away very legitimate all-stars and missed out on even more legitimate all-stars, and are instead left with a concerning mix of slow-to-develop youngsters who just got their coach fired.

This team has an aging, terrible defense, no natural goal scorers (BUT HEY LET’S OVERPAY SCOTT HARTNELL!), and a goaltending situation that couldn’t have been mishandled any more than it was the last few years.

The one issue that needed to be addressed from successful teams in 2010 and 2011 was the impending demise of Chris Pronger. But nope, instead the Flyers jettisoned half of their forwards, signed Bryzgalov, traded Bob, and failed to land any of their target free agents. Solution? FIRE THE COACH.

So now, the Flyers are going to bring in another made man, a goon in the typical Flyers mold, to coach a team made, not surprisingly, in the typical Flyers mold. And Ron Hextall will be the GM by Christmas, thus completing the cycle.

No idea if Berube will be a good coach or not, but this team is laughingly predictable.

Simon Gagne Feels Like Paul Holmgren Slapped Him in the Face

Kyle Scott - September 14, 2013

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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.

Incommunicado: Paul Holmgren in Everything He Does

Kyle Scott - September 11, 2013

Paul Holmgren may have screwed something else up by actually not screwing up at all.

His dealings with players and their agents are akin to what I would imagine it’s like when Greased Up Deaf Guy tries to fuck a football. Got it. Wait… no. There it… is. Not going to trade you. Uh oh. Slipping. Ahhhgahhhhhhh. See you all next yearrrr!

First, there was Holmgren telling Jeff Carter’s agent that Carter wouldn’t be traded. And then he traded Carter.

And then there was Holmgren telling Ilya Bryzgalov’s agent that the Flyers had no intention of buying out Bryzgalov. And then they bought out Bryzgalov.

Holmgren’s dickishness seems to go well beyond posturing and into the realm of the type of self-serving that severs business relationships.

The latest example of this communication issue comes today with the news that Dan Cleary will not report to camp he will report to camp he might report to camp oh holy shit who cares he’s a marginal player.

Here’s the timeline of the supposed acquisition of Cleary, who is about as inconsequential as it comes and we’re only talking about him because he’s a football, which Paul Holmgren may be trying to fuck:

Late Monday night: Flyers reportedly agree to a (ludicrous) three-year deal with the 34-year-old left winger. The deal won’t be finalized until the end of September because, predictably, Holmgren has the Flyers currently over the cap.

Tuesday: Holmgren laughs at your reporting, saying that “there are no promises.” Cleary will get a training camp tryout and nothing more.

Wednesday: There is a report that there is “some complication” between Cleary and the Flyers and that he won’t report to camp.

Later on Wednesday: Holmgren still expects Cleary to report to camp on Thursday– “until I hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

What we have here, again, is a failure to communicate.

It seems as though one of two things happened: Either A) Cleary thought he and the Flyers had agreed on a contract, but, because agreements with the Flyers aren’t really agreements unless they are notarized by Jesus Christ off the cross, they didn’t, and Cleary backed out, scorned and hurt by the fact that Holmgren said such an asshole thing like, “there are no promises.” Or B) there was never an agreement on a long-term deal and Cleary, facing a possible injury during camp, decided he might be able to find one elsewhere.

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press seemed confident in the initial report, but did mention that Cleary’s leaving Detroit came down to numbers. So, it’s entirely possible that the Red Wings and Cleary were able to find a way that it might work and Cleary has decided to hold off on coming to the Flyers.

It’s also entirely possible that Holmgren is an idiot.

Either way, the Flyers may have saved themselves from another silly contract.

Other Things: Paul Holmgren Lies, Phillies Schedule, Work for the Sixers

Kyle Scott - September 10, 2013

There are three other teams in this town, and, right now, they’re all an embarrassment to some degree… but that won’t stop us from talking about them.

Flyers: This may be the most meta Paul Holmgren statement ever. He’s basically lying about a report that he claims is a liethat Dan Cleary has agreed to a three-year, $8.25 million deal:

General manager Paul Holmgren confirmed on Tuesday that Dan Cleary will be at the Flyers’ camp Thursday on a tryout contract. However, Holmgren said no deal was in place, as was reported by the Detroit Free Press. “There are no promises. It’s just like the Hal Gill (contract),” he said.

The article in the Detroit Free Press predicted as much, saying that Cleary’s contract won’t be official until the end of the month because the Flyers are currently over the cap.

Phillies: Their 2014 schedule is out and they’ll open the season in Texas, against the Rangers because rivalry.

Sixers: Want to be the Sixers social media correspondent for one day and Tweet about moose, confetti and the New Jersey Devils? Now’s your chance!

Flyers Moneyball

Kyle Scott - August 8, 2013

The Flyers debuted their new web series, Flight Plan, this week. The first episode took us inside the draft war room, where a grab bag of former players and scouts debated over who should be the team’s top pick. Several readers noted that the discussion was, well, exactly what you would expect from the Flyers:

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 8.29.01 AM

You can’t help but think of the scene in Moneyball where Billy Beane tries to explain his new philosophy to a bunch of lifers stuck in their ways. And the rudimentary observations offered up by Flyers scouts were not unlike the antiquated arguments put forth by their peers in the hit movie. So, here now are the two scenes spliced together. Enjoy.