Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Flyers lock up Holmgren

Paul Holmgren's rebuilding job of the Philadelphia Flyers has earned him a two-year contract extension as general manager.

"In this year of transition for the Flyers, I think Paul has moved quickly and decisively to better our team on the ice and position us for the future," Flyers chairman Ed Snider said in a statement.
A good choice by Snider et al given Holmgren's savvy moves so far.

I've said this before, but I don't think the Flyers franchise is one that's going to be down for long. With a solid netminder (Marty Biron) poised to sign on and lots of spending room, Philadelphia will be one of the biggest players in the off-season free-agent frenzy.

Following in Bob Clarke's footsteps, Holmgren is essentially a lifer as a Flyer: The St. Paul native was drafted by the organization in 1975 and played his first NHL game for the team the next season, going on to play 500 games as a checking forward in the black and orange.

The year after his playing career ended, he stepped behind the Flyers' bench as an assistant coach for three years, before taking over as head coach from 1988-91. He's been in various management roles with the club since signing on as head scout in 1995-96.



At 5:13 p.m., March 14, 2007, Blogger BlackCapricorn said...

Congrats James- it looks like you have been spammed!

On a serious note, this guy deserves an extension. He has truly turned water into wine in a short time there in Philly. Now if only that wine can be turned into wins.

At 5:38 p.m., March 14, 2007, Blogger Pinder said...

i always thought this would be Ron Hextall's job if he wanted it

At 7:15 p.m., March 14, 2007, Anonymous JTE said...

Holmgren has done well thus far, but no team that features the stylings of Marty Biron in goal will ever win anything beyond the occasional playoff round. Maybe.

At 10:46 p.m., March 14, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I think that the jury is still out as to whether making a huge splash in the free agent market is a likely way to create a top team. My hunch is that you need to build a solid core of younger, homegrown players and then use free agency to fill in a few holes. Free agents are significantly more expensive on a return for your dollar scale, and under a salary cap system, that can be a real problem.

Only the future will tell if my hunch is correct, though. In sports that have had full free agency longer than the NHL, that argument has been true in baseball, and false in football. The question is which sport does hockey more closely resemble?

At 12:02 a.m., March 15, 2007, Anonymous JTE said...

It's false in football because when you screw up and pay a bunch of money to a stiff, you just cut him and the problem is solved. I am fairly certain that player development will prove to be more effective that playing the free agent game.

I think of Boston when I think of a team that is always trying to plug holes from outside the organization.

At 3:18 p.m., March 15, 2007, Blogger MattD said...

I agree about the NFL -- they don't have guaranteed contracts, so teams can cut ties with a player a whole lot easier there.

I don't have any problem with the extension, though I would have preferred to wait to see what he did during free agency.

The papers in town keep talking about how they need a No. 1 center and another veteran defenseman or two and that they'll have upwards of $20 million in cap space to play with.

I'm already getting worried about how they spend it. There are rumors that they're going to go after Briere and/or Drury and I just don't see either one as a No. 1 center on this team.

Sure, they both work in Buffalo where all four lines can score, but in Philadelphia where there's next to no scoring depth I don't think it would work out so well.


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