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Holmgren Talks NHL Draft, Other Topics

by Kevin Kurz / Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with the media regarding the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in Montreal on June 26-27, as well as several other topics. Watch the press conference in its entirety by clicking here, or check out some of the highlights below.


You can also download the entire press conference to your mobile device with the Flyers Video Podcast.

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On the upcoming draft:

Paul Holmgren: “Our stance is probably [we pick] the best available player. Our first pick is the 21st pick. There’s actually guys at each position there that we have in that group.

“I think it’s a lot like last year. I think it’s a good draft. We believe certainly with our first pick we’ll get a good prospect. I don’t think it will be a guy that…well, I shouldn’t say that, last year we never thought we’d get a guy [Luca Sbisa] who would be able to step on to our team in training camp. I guess you never know. But, we believe we’ll get a good player with that pick.”


On possibly trading the pick to move up:

“It’s something we’ve talked about with some teams. It gets down to price, and if there’s something that there’s a fit there. But, we have talked about that with other teams. We’ve also talked about moving back and getting into a different group of players where maybe we might have access to more than one.
Paul Holmgren (left) and the Flyers are preparing for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal on June 26-27. (Getty Images)

“We have a group of guys we think will be available at 21. Some, it’s a stretch; other ones you’re pretty sure they’re going to be there. Our next pick right now is the 81st pick, because we don’t have a second round pick, so we have a group of guys we believe are going to be in that range. So, moving back, let’s just say you can move your first pick for a couple picks later where you’re acquiring more assets, basically.”

“I’m not sure there’s that much difference between the 10th player that’s going to be taken and where we take.”


On if Martin Biron is “still in the picture”:

“Well, I know he’s changing agents, so I don’t even know who to talk to right now. I know that doesn’t answer your question, but we’ve tried a bunch of different things and I don’t know what the number is and what the term is. We’re still going to talk, but obviously the window is closing.”


On if he will sign Mike Knuble before July 1:

“We would be prepared to sign Mike prior to that. That’s what we’re trying to do; same thing with Andrew Alberts. Whether we can or not, I don’t know yet.”


Is Antero Niittymaki still in the mix?

“Yeah. Yeah.”


On how far the team is under the salary cap:

“A little north of four [million].”


On which prospects could make an impact on the Flyers next year:

“I think there are a number of guys that could. [Andreas] Nodl, depending on the role that’s available. Jon Kalinski played some games for us. I’m not ruling out [James] van Riemsdyk. With James we have to be a little more careful because he’s young, but Kalinski and Nodl have got a year under their belt of pro hockey and have played games for us. You’re trying to fit pieces in, and roles, and to be honest salary comes into play, too.”


On seeing Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup:

“I think we have a great rivalry with them right now. Obviously, they are the Stanley Cup Champions. They deserve all the credit. That’s a hell of an accomplishment. The fact that they beat us in the first round, I don’t know that we can get any solace out of that.

“I still believe we’re not that far away. We’re on the right path here, and we just need to keep marching down the path.

“I like our team. I’ve said it all year long. The fact that we lost in the first round doesn’t change that, and now we have our own issues that we have to deal with, and we’re dealing with them.”
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