Skip to main content

Flyers' Holmgren stands pat after pre-deadline trades

by Mike G. Morreale /
It wasn't too surprising that Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren opted to stand pat by the time Monday's trade deadline rolled around.

Holmgren is confident the acquisitions of defensemen Pavel Kubina and Nick Grossman in the week leading up to deadline day is just what coach Peter Laviolette required to keep the team on course for a fifth straight postseason appearance.

"We just felt more comfortable with our team the way it is, and quite frankly, since we've added the two defensemen, we've all felt that way," Holmgren said in a conference call from the Flyers' training facility in Voorhees, N.J., on Monday afternoon. "We believe we have to play better, but all the coaches like our team, too, so we're happy to move forward. It's a crazy day for us here and for all the players around the League to go through that, because you never know what's going to happen. But now that it's over, I think you just march ahead and get on with winning some hockey games."

The Flyers are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference with 34 wins and 75 points -- two behind fourth-seeded Pittsburgh. They finish a four-game trip swing in San Jose on Tuesday after sandwiching wins in Winnipeg and Calgary around a 2-0 loss at Edmonton.

One player rumored to be on the market in Philadelphia was third-year forward James van Riemsdyk. Holmgren reiterated, however, that nothing made sense for his organization either short- or long-term.

"We received some calls about some of our players but nothing really made sense for us," Holmgren said. "I think we've stated all along that anything we do needs to make sense both ways for us, and nothing really came up. We made our moves a couple weeks ago and I think adding the size and experience on defense that we were looking for with the absence of Chris Pronger for the rest of this year … we felt good with our group.

"We like our team and we were quite comfortable coming out of it like we did without doing anything more [Monday]."

Holmgren did admit an interest in acquiring Buffalo center Paul Gaustad, but those inquiries ceased after trading for Kubina and Grossman. Buffalo sent Gaustad and a fourth-round draft pick to Nashville on Monday for the Predators' first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

The Flyers are actually tops in the NHL with a 3.30 goals-per game average. It's been on the back end where they've struggled with consistency in goal and in the absence of their captain, Pronger. The Flyers are 27th in the League, allowing 2.98 goals per game.

"We're still a little loosey-goosey from time to time, and obviously our goaltending needs to be better," Holmgren said. "I think the coaches and the players have spent a great deal of time going over how we're playing, and we're trying to tighten things up."

Philadelphia's prized free-agent acquisition, Ilya Bryzgalov, is 22-12-6 with a 2.82 goals-against average and a save percentage of .898. Backup goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is 12-8-1 with a 2.99 GAA and .900 save percentage.

"[The defense] is a situation that the team is addressing on a daily basis, and you hope getting down here where we've got 21 games left, we'll start to tighten it up and play the style we need to play to be successful down the stretch," Holmgren said.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
View More