Philadelphia Flyers: A Look Back At Paul Holmgren’s Moves As GM

Paul Holmgren

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For those who haven’t heard by now, a much-needed and long overdue change in the Philadelphia Flyers‘ front office took place late Wednesday morning that sent Paul Holmgren to the position of president and promoted Ron Hextall to the new GM.

In his seven-and-a-half year stint as the Flyers’ GM, Holmgren did plenty of smart things.  However, he made plenty of questionable moves as well.  No matter which way you look at it, the moves that Holmgren processed left an mark in your mind. Let’s take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly moments of Holmgren’s career as the Flyers’ GM.

Luckily for Holmgren, “the good” is in the majority as far as quantity of favorable decisions that he’s fully or partially responsible for. During the 2009-10 season, Holmgren helped lead the Flyers all the way to an Eastern Conference Championship. The following season, the Flyers won the Atlantic Division. In the eight seasons with Holmgren as GM, the Flyers made the playoffs six times.

He’s responsible for players like Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Steve Mason. He clearly had his moments to shine.

Unfortunately, he also had his moments in the dumps. Holmgren is responsible for arguably the most disastrous trade in the history of the Flyers, at least recently. After trading hopeful prospect James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn, JVR went on to score  48 goals in two seasons, including a shortened season in 2012-13.

JVR was the very first player Homer ever drafted. The GM also went on to let go of an eventual Vezina Trophy-winning goalie in Sergei Bobrovsky. Last summer, he inked 33-year-old Vincent Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5 million contract. That’s $4.5 million a year. He scored 20 goals this season, the first year of that contract.

Just to put that into a pathetic perspective, Corey Perry is currently making $4.8 million and scored 43 goals this past season. Overpaid just a bit, don’t you think? Who could forget that atrocious nine-year deal he gave Ilya Bryzgalov? Luckily, they were able to finagle their way out of that one.

In a nutshell, he did a lot of good for this team, but plenty of bad. He made the team enjoyable to watch for the most part, but was never able to take it to the next level. Luckily for Flyers fans, Holmgren is now just another memory.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter and “like” him on Facebook.

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