Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Paul Holmgren became the Flyers’ general manager a few weeks into the dismal 2006-07 season, relieving Bobby Clarke of the post. The Flyers were the worst team in hockey that year, and looked poised for a slow rebuilding process.
Luckily for Flyers fans, Holmer doesn’t know the meaning of the word “slow.”
Before free agency had even begun, Holmgren had acquired a reliable netminder in Marty Biron, had traded Peter Forsberg for Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall and Nashville’s first-round pick, and traded that pick right back to Nashville to land the negotiating rights to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell.
The next season, the Flyers advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Final.
Similarly, Holmer worked magic this offseason, turning two of his more talented but less motivated centers into Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, and signing big-name goalie Ilya Bryzgalov before Bryz had a chance to hit the market.
Some will accuse Holmer of overspending, but that’s a small price to pay for a GM that is totally willing to do what it takes to put his team on track to the Stanley Cup.