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.