Philadelphia Flyers To Reward GM Paul Holmgren with Contract Extension

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IJanuary 18, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - JULY 06:  Flyers General Manager, Paul Holmgren (L) presents Chris Pronger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers with his new jersey during his first press conference as a Philadelphia Flyer at Flyer's Skate Zone on July 6, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

According to Anthony SanFilippo, the Philadelphia Flyers are going to announce a three-year, $4.5 million contract extension with general manager Paul Holmgren on Thursday.

Holmgren, 55, replaced long-time GM Bobby Clarke after Clarke announced his resignation during the 2006-07. At the time, the Flyers were in the midst of their worst season in franchise history and head coach Ken Hitchock was fired.

It didn't take long for Holmgren to turn the ship around.

When Philadelphia promoted him from assistant general manager to interim general manager, the Flyers were in last place and had little to no promise of moving forward. It was the same story.

The core consisted of mostly veteran players with a mix of youngsters. The defense was old, and slow while the goaltending was poor. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were in their second seasons, and weren't progressing the way they wanted under Hitchock.

Holmgren recognized that changes had to be made in order to turn the Flyers into a Stanley Cup contender, which he accomplished in each of his first full seasons as the general manager. It all started with the acquisitions of Braydon Coburn from Atlanta, Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and Scottie Upshall from Nashville.

Wouldn't you know, the Flyers had an Eastern Conference Finals showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins the very next season.

Under Holmgren's watch, the orange and black have a conference finals championship under their belt and have the best record in the East midway through this season. As it stands right now, it looks like another deep playoff run is in the books.

So what exactly has Holmgren done as the GM?

He has acquired Chris Pronger, Matt Carle, Ville Leino, Andrej Meszaros, Dan Carcillo and Matt Walker via trade while bringing in Danny Briere, Sean O'Donnell, Brian Boucher, Sergei Bobrovsky, Blair Betts, Ian Laperriere, Jody Shelley, Michael Leighton, Ray Emery and Nikolay Zherdev as free agent signings.

Holmgren has locked up his core for the next decade with a 12-year deal for Mike Richards and a 10-year contract for Jeff Carter. He's inked emerging star Claude Giroux to a three-year pact this year.

While he has been an aggressive and creative general manager, Holmgren's best acquisition is head coach Peter Laviolette. Since Laviolette has taken over the Flyers, they've been among the elite in the NHL.

With the extension, Holmgren will be the GM until the 2013-14 season.


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