Paul Holmgren made his NHL debut in March of 1976 for the Philadelphia Flyers after being drafted and never playing for the Edmonton Oilers. In his first professional season he nearly lost his life for the game he loves. While playing for the Richmond Robins (the Flyers AHL affiliate at the time) he suffered a scratched cornea. After surgery in Boston he had an allergic reaction to the anesthetic and nearly died.
He eventually was called up to the big club and while playing eight seasons in Philly he maxed out at 30 goals and 65 points in the ’79-’80 campaign while adding 10 goals and 10 assists during that year’s playoff run. He became the first U.S. born player to tally a hat trick in a Cup Finals game.
After eight glorious years in the orange and black he was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars half way through the ’83-’84 season.
He only played 42 games with Minnesota before retiring in 1985.
“Homer” is remembered as being a hard-nosed player who accumulated 1,600 penalty minutes during his tenure as a Flyer.
After his playing career he immediately began coaching the Flyers as an assistant to the infamous Mike Keenan. After Keenan’s release he took over the head-coaching job for 4 seasons before being let go.
He then took a job with the Hartford Whalers as Head Coach and Interim General Manager before returning to Philly as a scout until a month into the 2006 season where he took over as General Manager for Bobby Clarke who seemed to be running in place for years.
Since then Holmgren has made a number of player transactions. Some have been questioned but most have been favorable and have made the Flyers a better team.
He had a number of great signings of young drafted players like Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk, but those aren't included here. I'm just concentrating on trades, free agent signings and personnel moves.
Here are the top ten moves Homer has made since taking the reins of the club.