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Flyers and General Manager Paul Holmgren Agree to Three-Year Contract Extension

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Paul Holmgren presents Danny Briere with his new jersey during a press conference last summer. (Flyers Photos)
Holmgren visits Comcast SportsNet's Daily News Live: Video


The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that the team and General Manager Paul Holmgren have agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2011-12 season, according to Flyers Chairman Ed Snider.

"I am very proud of the job that Paul has done. He totally revamped our team and brought us back to respectability," said Snider in making the announcement. "I am positive he will continue to improve our team and to make sure that we are in contention for the Stanley Cup. He clearly was the general manager of the year this past season. He is truly deserving of this contract extension."

"Paul has done an outstanding job via trades, free agency and the NHL draft in building a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup, while managing within today's salary cap system," said Comcast-Spectacor President and Chief Operating Officer Peter A. Luukko. "Paul is a tireless competitor who I admire tremendously and enjoy working with."

In his first full season as general manager, Holmgren, 52, guided the Flyers to the NHL’s best turnaround, improving 39 points in the standings (95 points in 2007-08 after 56 points in 2006-07), and to a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. Since the NHL expanded the playoffs to four rounds, starting with the 1980 Playoffs, the 2007-08 Flyers were only the second team to finish with the worst record in the NHL one season and reach the third round of the playoffs the next season (Detroit Red Wings in 1987). The 2007-08 Flyers were also the first team in 13 years to advance to the second round of the playoffs after finishing the previous season with the worst record in the league (San Jose Sharks in 1994).

"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Flyers organization through the 2011-12 season," said Holmgren. "Mr. Snider and Peter Luukko have both been terrific in their support and I am honored to be a part of this franchise. I am really thrilled beyond words."

Entering his 30th season as a member of the Flyers organization, Holmgren was named general manager on November 11, 2006, after serving as interim general manager since replacing Bob Clarke who resigned on October 22, 2006. Prior to his promotion, Holmgren served the previous seven seasons as the team's assistant general manager. He was named to this position on June 14, 1999, after serving as Flyers' director of player personnel from August 6, 1997. He served over parts of two seasons as director of pro scouting after replacing Bill Barber as the Flyers' director of pro scouting when Barber was named head coach of the Hershey Bears on December 30, 1995. Holmgren rejoined the Flyers organization as a scout after being replaced as the Hartford Whalers' head coach on November 6, 1995.

Over parts of four seasons (1992-93 to 1995-96), Holmgren compiled a 59-93-14 record as head coach of the Whalers. He was re-appointed as head coach of the Whalers by team President and General Manager Jim Rutherford on June 28, 1994 after stepping down as the Whalers’ head coach 17 games into the 1993-94 season to concentrate on his duties as general manager. He was named general manager and head coach of the Whalers prior to the start of the 1993-94 season. He was originally named head coach of the Whalers on June 15, 1992.

Holmgren served as Flyers head coach for four seasons (1988-89 to 1991-92), compiling a 107-126-31 record. He was named head coach of the Flyers on June 1, 1988, after serving three seasons as an assistant coach with the club. He was the first former Flyer to be named head coach of the team.

His international experience includes serving as general manager for the 2006 U.S. National Team for the IIHF World Championships, assistant general manager of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that competed in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and an assistant coach for Team USA at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey Tournament.

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Holmgren retired from playing after the 1984-85 season, having recorded 144 goals and 179 assists for 323 points and 1,684 penalty minutes in 527 career regular season NHL games with the Flyers and the Minnesota North Stars. He was traded to the North Stars by the Flyers in exchange for Paul Guay and a third round pick in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft on February 23, 1984. Holmgren recorded 138 goals and 171 assists for 309 points and 1,600 penalty minutes in 500 games over parts of nine seasons with the Flyers (1975-76 to 1983-84). His 1,600 penalty minutes with the Flyers are second all-time in club history. Holmgren was drafted from the University of Minnesota by the Flyers in the sixth round (108th overall) of the 1975 NHL Entry Draft.

Paul and his wife, Doreen, reside in Somerdale, New Jersey. He has four children: Jason, Kirsten, Wes, and Greta.
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