Posts Tagged ‘Paul Holmgren’

Philadelphia Flyers owner gets feisty in defense of team’s culture, GM

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By Allan Muir

While Peter Laviolette was a popular choice among pundits who were looking to tag the first coach to be fired this season, most figured he’d survive the opening week.

But with his Flyers off to an 0-3 start and showing much the same formless game that left them outside the playoff mix last season, Laviolette was cashiered this morning, setting a modern-day record with the alacrity of his dismissal. The all-time mark for quickest firing after the start of a season is Paul Thompson of the Blackhawks getting the can after one game of the 1944-45 campaign. Bill Gadsby (Red Wings, 1969-70) got two games and Fred Glover (Golden Seals, 1971-72) three before they headed for the door.

Laviolette is being replaced by assistant Craig Berube.

You can certainly argue the timing — if Lavy’s leash was going to be that short, why let him start the season in the first place? — but you can’t argue the rationale. Philly was lousy through those three games, outscored 9-3, outshot by an average of nearly seven per game, and poorly executing an aggressive system for which the players seem ill-suited.

Those are the sort of indictments that can get a coach fired. But that always seems to be the answer in Philly, doesn’t it? Maybe after going through 11 coaches in 20 years, it’s fair to ask if there’s a more pressing issue affecting the organization.

Just don’t dare ask owner Ed Snider.

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  • Published On Oct 07, 2013
  • Ron Hextall returns to Flyers, GM Paul Holmgren tries on the short leash

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    Ron Hextall hoists the Los Angeles Kings' Stanley Cup after their 2012 title. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Ron Hextall hoists the Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup after their 2012 title. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The Philadelphia Flyers on Monday named Ron Hextall assistant general manager and director of hockey operations.

    A surprising move, but you can’t argue the smarts. Hextall is regarded as an up-and-coming executive whose skills have been coveted around the league for several years.

    The question is, was this simply a chance taken to add a highly-regarded thinker to the team’s pool of builders and assessors…or is this a clear sign the leash has shortened considerably for GM Paul Holmgren?

    “We are very pleased to welcome back Ron Hextall to our management team,” Holmgren said in a statement, apparently without loosening his necktie, Rodney Dangerfield-style. “Ron has a wealth of experience in the front office in various capacities which will be a valuable addition to our staff.”

    True enough.

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  • Published On Jul 15, 2013
  • Tim Thomas and the Philadelphia Flyers: So crazy, it might work

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    Will any team risk attracting outside distraction with bringing Tim Thomas into the fold? (Winslow Townson/AP)

    Will any team risk attracting outside distraction with bringing Tim Thomas into the fold? (Winslow Townson/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Maybe he ran out of food. Or ammunition. Or maybe the thought of missing out on the high-brow hilarity of “Grown Ups 2″ was just too much to bear.

    Whatever the reason, Tim Thomas has finally emerged from his bunker deep in the Colorado wilderness. And after a year in seclusion, hockey’s favorite strict constructionist has put out the word that he’s ready to strap on the pads and stop pucks for a living again.

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  • Published On Jul 02, 2013
  • It’s official: Flyers buy out Danny Briere

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    Daniel Briere's contract was bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers.

    It was Danny Briere’s cap hit, not his salary that ended his time in Philadelphia after six years. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    After months of speculation, the Flyers just made it official: they’re buying out the final years of Danny Briere’s contract.

    “I met with Danny last week and informed him of our decision to use a compliance buyout on his contract,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said in a prepared statement released early this afternoon. “This was a very difficult decision for us to make as Danny has been a very good player for us over the past six years. Danny came to our organization as a free agent in July of 2007 and has been a tremendous player, person and role model in all aspects and for that we thank him. We wish him continued success and best wishes in any future endeavors.”

    Briere had just two years and $5 million remaining on his deal, but it was his $6.5 million cap hit, not his salary, that forced the separation. The buyout wipes that hit off Philly’s cap, although the Flyers still have to pay Briere 66 percent of his remaining money owed ($3.3 million) over the next four years.

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  • Published On Jun 20, 2013


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