Riga, Latvia – Current Flyers Assistant General Manager Paul Holmgren is currently serving as the general manager of Team USA in the IIHF World Championships in Riga, Latvia. Holmgren checked in with philadelphiaflyers.com on Wednesday to give an update on how Team USA is doing as well as the Flyers representatives in the tournament. R.J. Umberger and Freddy Meyer are playing with Team USA, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are a part of Team Canada, while Antero Niittymaki is manning the net for Finland.
Below is a transcript of the conversation with Holmgren. For more information on the tournament, click here
"Right now, it's so far so good for Team USA. We finished our pool round already. We beat Norway and we beat Denmark, and we had a good game [Tuesday] against Canada even though we lost 2-1. It was a game we certainly could have won. We had some chances and hit a couple of posts, and it was a tough loss but we're heading now into the second round and we're looking forward to facing Finland here on Friday. We're busy preparing for that.
"Finland has several guys who played for the silver-medal winning team in the Olympics, including Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki. They are going to be a tough team and they play a unique style. They are defensive in the neutral zone and they just wait for you to make a mistake.
"R.J. Umberger made it over in time for the first game, but couldn't play in that game because his equipment got lost in transit. He ended up playing in the second game against Denmark and played okay, and then the next day he reported that he didn't feel very good. He just didn't feel right, so we're holding him out and he actually wasn't any better [Wednesday] at practice. We'll see how he is tomorrow, but there's a good chance of him not playing out the rest of the tournament. It's unrealistic because of the symptoms he has for him to come back and help us. We'll make that decision [Thursday] or [Friday].
"Freddy Meyer has played well for us. He's a big part of the team here and he is counted on in a lot of situations on the power play and penalty killing. He's such a good skater and is such a smart player that he's very effective on the big ice here. He's played well.
"In the Canada game, I thought Jeff Carter played well. I know Mike Richards was sick in that game and didn't play much. He just got a real bad head cold with some flu-like symptoms so he wasn't as effective as Jeff was. I thought Jeff played a good game."