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The Top-10 bad Holmgren moves that aren’t trading Richards, Carter

Oct 23, 2013, 10:22 AM EDT

5-holmgren-lavy

Since Paul Holmgren replaced Bob Clarke as general manager of the Flyers in late 2006, life hasn’t been dull for the Orange and Black. If being general manager is to gamble, Holmgren is a whale. He wheels and deals aggressively and with little regard for the future, the feelings of his players or his own appearance as a manager.

Despite this strategy, he’s won his fair share of deals like trading Alexei Zhitnik for Braydon Coburn, picking up Sergei Bobrovsky out of nowhere and landing Matt Read off the college waiver wire. But like most gamblers, he’s lost even more.

Here are the Top-10 head-scratching Holmgren moves that aren’t trading Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

10. Signing Bruno Gervais for two years, $1.65m

Looking for a depth defender to start the 2012-13 NHL season, Holmgren tapped mobile unrestricted free agent Gervais to play the part. Best good friends with Max Talbot, the move made mild sense.

That is until Holmgren gave Gervais a two-year deal. Yes, Holmgren gave a fringe NHLer, who was also getting the proverbial signing bonus by playing with his childhood best friend, an extra year for no reason at all. Gervais wouldn’t be able to enjoy the second year though, as he is currently playing for the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL after the Flyers realized he wasn’t very good.

This signing serves as the perfect example of how Holmgren does business.

source:  9. Signing Jody Shelley for three-years, $3.3m

Why would any reasonable general manager spend $3.3 million ($1.1m per season) and three years locked into a 34-year-old enforcer? Why would anyone spend more than the veteran minimum on any enforcer ever? Go back to 2010 and ask Holmgren.

Shelley played just 89 games over three seasons and acted as a well-liked salary cap albatross over that span.

8. Signing Kimmo Timonen for One Year, $6m

It’s like Holmgren forgot that players age. Despite Timonen turning 38 at the time and slowed by a chronic bad back, Holmgren signed his prized disintegrating defender to one-year deal for a whopping $6 million.

Timonen, whose options were to play for the Flyers or retire, has no points in eight games and has already left the club’s latest game with a lower-body injury. Even without the fatigue of a grueling 82-game season he looks slow and seems to be playing to his age, not his paycheck.

7. Signing Mark Streit for Four Years, $21m

Once again, Holmgren spends a draft pick for the right to grossly overpay a player.

Not only did he give the New York Islanders AHL forward Shane Harper and a fourth round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but he delivered the 35-year-old Streit a ridiculous four-year deal worth $21 million, which will keep him on the Flyers’ books until he’s 39. The aging power play specialist, who has been designated the team’s fifth defenseman in terms of ice time and rolled out on the second power play unit, is a major reason why the future of the Flyers seems so bleak and in such a precarious financial position.

6. Not firing coach Peter Laviolette after the 2012-13 season, only to fire him three games into the 2013-14 season.

Holmgren must love criticism because his knack for it is uncanny. Instead of making the headstrong move to fire Laviolette following the Flyers’ 23-22-3 playoff miss last season, which would have been a perfectly understandable management move, he waited until three games into the 2013-14 season.

The transaction embarrassed Laviolette and the Flyers while also putting new coach Craig Berube in a hole. Instead give his new coach a training camp and pre-season to work out the kinks, Berube was thrown into the river and forced to swim upstream, giving the Flyers even less hope of successful season.

source:  5. Trading Scottie Upshall and a Second Round Pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft for Dan Carcillo

It’s bad enough that Holmgren thought Dan Carcillo was more than your average undersized energy brawler but he moved reasonably-priced depth scoring Upshall for him and about $900k of cap space.

Making matters worse, cap-strapped Paul actually threw the Phoenix Coyotes a second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft for the privilege of that limited cap space. The pick ended up being winger Lucas Lessio, who is currently on the Coyotes roster and averaging 11 minutes per night.

4. Trading Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a Second Round Pick and Fourth Round Pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and a Fourth Round Pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft

At the time, the move wasn’t viewed as a complete loss for the Flyers as they received promising young keeper Anthony Stolarz. But after Bobrovsky upgraded his game (as young, talented players do) and won the Vezina Trophy with the Blue Jackets, it was the clear the Flyers may have failed to properly evaluate his ability.

And while hindsight on players is always clear, this mistake was on a Patrick Sharp-level of misjudgment for Holmgren and the Flyers, who apparently wouldn’t know a good goaltender if it fell into their laps from Novokuznetsk.

source:  3. Trading a Third-Round Pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft for the rights to sign Ilya Bryzgalov for nine-years, $51m, then buying him out.

Aiming for a legitimate starting goaltender was an honorable feat for an organization embarrassed by its ongoing goaltending woes. But in typical Flyers’ style, it turned into one of the most memorable Holmgren messes in recent team history.

Apparently, Holmgren believed that $51 million and nine years wouldn’t be enough to land 30-year-old Bryzgalov on the open market. So naturally, the GM tossed the Coyotes a free third-round pick for the right to offer the weirdo goalie a ridiculous amount of money.

The organization then quickly discovered that Bryzgalov was not only a loud mouth and disturbance but a pretty average goaltender when not locked into Coyotes’ coach Dave Tippett’s defensive system. Just two years into his nine-year deal, Holmgren erased his mistake with a massive buyout.

source:  2. Trading James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn

The oft-injured, inconsistent but highly-talented van Riemsdyk was just 23 years old. He never fully endeared himself to Holmgren and the Flyers, which provided little doubt that the former second-overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry draft would be eventually traded for defensive help.

In yet another case of Holmgren undervaluing his own player and overvaluing someone else, he moved JVR straight up for Schenn — an underwhelming former fifth overall pick, who was slow, physical and little else.

Schenn is currently playing as the Flyers’ sixth defender and averaging just over 15 minutes per night, while JVR has become a first-line threat, scoring 38 points in 55 games.

1. Trading the 27th Overall Selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft for Steve Eminger and Jacob Deserres

It’s a move that often goes overlooked in the pantheon of Holmgren mistakes but could be his most egregious in terms of how it’s hampered today’s Flyers team. Whether the club didn’t value the 27th pick that year or simply overvalued Eminger as a full time NHL defenseman, the aggressive move turned into a massive mistake for the Flyers and a big reason for their current defensive roster problems.

And here’s the Holmgren kicker — as a restricted free agent, Eminger wasn’t even signed at the time.

The 27th pick ended up being big defenseman John Carlson, who, at just 23 years old, has already played three full seasons on the Capitals’ blue line and is currently the team’s No. 2 defensemen in terms of ice time.

Don’t like Carlson? OK. Florida Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom and Stanley Cup-winning LA Kings defenseman Slava Voynov went No. 31 and No. 32. St. Louis Blues up-and-coming goalie Jake Allen went 34th, while Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi and Edmonton Oilers blue-liner Justin Schultz went No. 38 and No. 43. Don’t count out New York Rangers center Derek Stepan or New York Islanders defense Travis Hamonic, who also went late in the second round.

Ouch.

  1. hitnrun - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    The only possible defense for Holmgren is the open question as to how emphatic Ed Snider’s “suggestions” are.

    Reply
  2. vile_mennis - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    The Flyers have no clue how to judge defensive talent or goalies. None. The trade of “Bob” describe as “Patrick Sharp-level” mistake is great. Yes, Couts is great. Laughton looks promising, but cannot begin the wonder what having Jonas Brodin and/or Ollia Matta would do for this blueline. Let’s not forget the 2007 2nd rd pick of Kevin Marshall. Who went 2 picks later? PK Subban.

    Go team \o/!!

    Reply
    • KRH - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      Couts is great?! I’m sorry, I couldn’t take you seriously after I read that.

      Reply
      • vile_mennis - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Kid is 20. He’s among the best defensive forwards in entire NHL. He played the 27th most toughest mins last season; 2nd on Flyers (Talbot 1st). He’s playing against Backstrom, Ov, Sid, Malkin, Bergeron, Stamkos, St. Louis, etc. He’s starting his shifts 40% of the time in the D-Zone and finishing in the O-zone 50% of the time. His sh% is low to begin the season, but law of average says it won’t stay low throughout full season.

        So again, how is he not great? Plays against top competition night in, night out. Starts against them in his own zone and finishes more times than not in opposition’s zone. Oh yeah, he’s 20 years old.

        [drops mic]

      • FlyersFan - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        I agree with you. Couts is a huge disappointment. Can’t get past the 3rd line because he has zero offensive ability. He doesn’t score goals. He doesn’t create scoring chances. He doesn’t set up teammates. He’s not a playmaker. He plays timid and scared. He gets bumped off the puck with ease and gets overwhelmed if the opposition plays physical against him. What does he do?

        Play defense? He’s a -2. To think the Flyers could have had Dougie Hamilton or Jonas Brodin and it makes his selection at 8th look even worse. Holmgren’s fault.

      • MJS - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Fan, you’re right that he’s not a playmaker. However, G and Vinny are pretty much the only playmakers the Flyers have, so you’d have to lump everyone else into that category as well.

        He’s not a huge disappoint though (at least not yet). It’s not necessarily is lack of offense ability that has stopped him from moving off of the 3rd line (assuming the Flyers are dedicated to keeping him at center like they are with Laughton…which, btw, they should have done the same thing w Coots IMO), it’s that he has G and Vinny ahead of him at the center roles. Now that Berube has changed the lines a bit, it looks like the lines are more 2a and 2b than 2 and 3. If he doesn’t start producing with his new line mates, then there is more reason for concern for his offense. I like Talbot and he serves his role on this team as a shutdown forward, but having him on the same line as Coots is going to stunt his offensive growth.

        Where you’re really off is that you don’t think he plays defense. Vile drops legit stats and you come back with a -2? C’mon man…Sean O’Donnell is a career +91 and there are plenty of gifted players with absurd minus numbers.

      • FlyersFan - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        MJS

        He is a disappointment. A huge one. It is precisely his lack of offensive ability that has kept him from moving up from the 3rd line. Don’t use his teammates as an excuse. Good players produce. To think that his best season was his rookie year shows just how much he hasn’t developed.

        He’s still physically weak and he’s still a below average skater. He’s also terribly weak on the puck. Guys just bump him off of it and take it from him. At some point, he must start producing offensively. You don’t draft a player at 8th to strictly play defense unless you’re a drafting a defenseman. The only person stunting Couts’ offensive growth is Couts himself.

      • MJS - Oct 23, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        You don’t necessarily draft someone 8th overall to immediately start playing in the NHL, which they did and it clearly was a mistake. Dougie Hamilton played in the OHL for a year after being drafted. Brodin played in the AHL for a year. Carter took a few years to get called up. The Kings were doing the same thing with Schenn, who was drafted two years before Coots and is still in his “waiting to break out” grace period that Coots will never receive. The purpose is to allow them to play top line minutes and continue to grow.

        The kid has only played a season (good offense) and a half (the not good offense) so far. IMO it’s too early to call him a disappointment.

        I completely understand where you are coming from though and I may find myself agreeing with you in a few months if his offense doesn’t start picking up at least a little bit.

      • vile_mennis - Oct 23, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Plus/Minus is the lamest stat you could use to measure success of an individual player. Yes top players make their line mates better, but what to do when those line mates are Rinaldo, Hall, & Talbot 80% of the time? Last year when Couts played with Read, Simmonds, and Voracek he was producing at nearly 2.8 PPG/60 Mins. The kid has the offensive ability; he was only the 2nd player in the history QMJHL to produce seasons of 100+ pts at the ages of 16 & 17. Who was the first? Sid Crosby. If not for a battle of mono, Couts was projected to go #1 in 2012.

        Jonas Brodin would’ve been a nice substitution for the 8th Overall, but the Flyers would’ve ruined him. Dougie Hamilton has been a healthy scratch for the Bruins lately. So did the Flyers pick wisely? Yes. He will begin producing with his line mates as his OZ Start % should increase. Look back at some of the early seasons Mike Richards had. He was playing against top flight opponents and heavy DZ Start % and didn’t begin producing until he got actual line mates and high offensive zone starts on his shift.

        You tell me when you play nearly 80% of TOI with Rinaldo, Hall, Rosehill, and Talbot starting 60%+ in the defensive zone against Top Talent on each team, will production be easy to come by? I doubt it.

      • FlyersFan - Oct 23, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        MJS

        I never said I expected him to immediately play in the NHL. Couts was clearly drafted to be a two-way player though and not just a one-dimensional strictly shutdown 3C. That is clear.

        The fact that he has shown nearly zero signs of an offensive upside is very worrisome. It is a disappointment no matter how you slice it. The Flyers were depending on the development of him and Schenn to a great extent as a huge part of their future. Schenn has kept his end of the bargain but Couts has not.

        If the draft were to ahppen again with the advantage of hindsight, I would easily take both Hamilton and Brodin over Couts at this point. The fact that the fanbase is divided over his play is absolute proof he is a disappointment.

      • vile_mennis - Oct 23, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        Where and when has Schenn ever shown he’s holding up his end of the bargain? He’s been marginally more productive, but he’s been out into much better situations than Couts. Much better. Flyers fanbase divided is proof? If that’s the case, we’re doomed. Couts will be fine. His offensive game will come with more offensive opportunities. Tough to play with tilted ice against you and being the top PK fwd. See Richards first few seasons as proof.

      • FlyersFan - Oct 23, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        vile_mennis

        The fact that Schenn leads the team in points. Ahead of the $8 million Superstar Captain Invisible. Ahead of the I Walk Away From European Car Crashes Stud. Ahead of the Best Free Agent Former Cup Winner Legend In The Making That The Flyers Signed As a Free Agent.

        Brayden is producing. Period. Couts is not. There is no question who the better player is at this point between the two.

      • MJS - Oct 23, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        I just brought up him playing immediately as what is really hindering his development (they clearly drafted Laughton with potential in mind, but they want him to continue to grow…he’s good enough to play on that 4th line, but it wouldn’t do him any good playing those minutes with those line mates).

        How in the hell has Schenn held up his part of the bargain? He has 7 more pts than Coots in 13 less games (and only 3 more pts this season). So his PPG is slightly higher, but he was drafted 2 years earlier. How is Coots a disappointment between the two?

        Who hasn’t the fanbase been divided over since the NHL returned from the lockout?

      • FlyersFan - Oct 23, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        MJS

        So you’re using playing immediately as an excuse for him not developing properly? Let me ask you…

        Was it playing immediately in the NHL that is responsible for him not improving his terrible skating?

        Was it playing immediately in the NHL that is responsible for him being physically weak?

        Was it playing immediately in the NHL that is responsible for him being so weak on the puck?

        These things are up to him to improve upon. He hasn’t done so yet. Is this not worrisome to you?

        You can make all the excuses you want. Couturier is a disappointment.

      • MJS - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Everything you just described is the exact reason why most players drafted don’t play immediately in the NHL because they need time to improve before playing at the NHL level. If Coot hadn’t played a second in NHL yet, is he still a disappointment for being the 8th overall pick?

        Playing immediately in the NHL is not responsible for any of these, which by the way, is not as bad as you are making it out to be. Time and age is the reason. That is not worrisome yet. He’s 20 years old…in 2 years, if these are still issues, then we have a problem because this is when his full potential should be reached.

        You have yet to use a statistic (outside of a -2) to show that he is a disappointment. Plenty of numbers have been given (admittedly, more so by vile) that prove why he is a top defensive forward, why his growth has been stunted, and why Schenn is in no way a clear better player than he his (outside of 3 more pts this season). I’d be more than happy to be wrong and have Schenn completely go nuts offensively this season, but as of today, he hasn’t distanced himself whatsoever.

      • vile_mennis - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        @Flyer: it’s easy for you to say “he should’ve gone back to JR” but you make no case for that statement. Laughton growth would be hindered mightly playing on the 4th Line. Couts had an opening and impress and continues to do so. Remember Malkin in the 2012 playoffs? Yeah me either thanks to Couts, not Schenn. Couts. His offense will come around. He’s playing more defensive mins against the best players in the league. What can’t you comprehend about that? Schenn, please. Leading this team in Pts is like bein the tallest midget right now. It won’t last. He’s been nice in pockets, but overall he’s been down right disappointing. He contributes nothing defensively. Take away his PP-TOI and his points drop big time. Couts has biggest improvement has been his puck skills by gaining the zone with puck on stick. Also, his FO% is highest on team and ranks 40th overall in FOW. So yeah, he’s progressing nicely in other areas. Offense will come. He’s a stud. Sorry you don’t see it.

      • metaligoat - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        a few things that need to be pointed out:

        1) +/- is one of the most useless stats in hockey. it’s about as useful as goaltender win/loss record, as well as RBI, runs scored, and pitcher win/loss record in baseball. +/- is less dependent on that particular player’s ability than it is on other factors, such as game situations, strategies, linemates, etc.

        2a) a high +/- rating is NOT indicative of great defensive ability. in fact, it’s a better indicator of offensive ability – or even better, the offensive ability of the other 4 players that guy plays with.
        2b) players who are used primarily in a shutdown defensive role, whether they play F or D, commonly have negative +/- ratings.
        why are these two points true? it seems counterintuitive at first, but it’s really easy if you just think about it for half a second. in order to accumulate positive ratings, you have to be on the ice for a lot of goals for your team. however, players who are dedicated to defensive roles play most of their shifts in their own zone against the other team’s top offensive players, and they aren’t doing things like gambling for takeaways or cherry picking in the neutral zone to generate offense. they are concentrating all their efforts on defense, which makes it impossible to accrue plusses.

        so really, to say something like “play defense? He’s a -2″ is completely asnine, and actually wrong. for a guy to only be -2 on a team that has a -13 goal differential and only 11 goals scored in 8 games is actually pretty good. especially when you consider that the highest rated players on the team are only +1, and there are only 5 guys on the whole roster who are 0 or better.

        let’s also put to bed the notion that Schenn is somehow holding up his end of the bargain based on the fact that 8 games into one season he’s leading his team in points. the team in question only has 11 total goals in 8 games, so Schenn leading the team is the hockey equivalent of the blind leading the blind. if you picked 20 homeless guys at random and found that one of them somehow had $20 on him and everybody else only had $1.50 each, that doesn’t make the guy with the $20 rich. he’s still broke and homeless. “Brayden is producing” with 5 points in 8 games? Please. yeah, he’s got more points than guys like G and Voracek and everybody else, but 8 games is an awfully small sample size, and doesn’t really prove anything. it doesn’t mean he’s holding up any bargain, it just means the team as a whole can’t score.

      • FlyersFan - Oct 24, 2013 at 8:51 AM

        MJS

        Excuses. Excuses. You’re full of them. Couturier not developing the way he should is all on him and no one else. If you’re good enough to make it in the NHL as an 18 year old, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t show growth and progression. Couturier has not shown it.

        Why do I need to provide you with a statistic to show him to be a disappointment?

        Come back here later tonight after the game is over when the Rangers beat the Flyers and Couturier has a bunch of zeros across his stat line once again. Then tell me how wonderful he played defensively.

      • MJS - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        If you’re good enough to make it in the NHL as an 18 year old, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t show growth and progression.
        –one last time, most players that are drafted that early ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY IN THE NHL, but most do not because they need to develop by playing top line minutes.

        Why do I need to provide you with a statistic to show him to be a disappointment?
        –Because outside of saying he’s weak on his skates/is a poor skater and a -2, you’ve given nothing else to show that he is a disappointment and multiple numbers have been given to prove you are wrong

        Come back here later tonight after the game is over when the Rangers beat the Flyers and Couturier has a bunch of zeros across his stat line once again. Then tell me how wonderful he played defensively.
        –I’m not going to judge someone off of a random game. If he had 3 pts tonight, are you all of sudden gonna take back everything you said? I doubt it..just like I wouldn’t if he had a miserable game.

      • FlyersFan - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        MJS
        –one last time, most players that are drafted that early ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY IN THE NHL, but most do not because they need to develop by playing top line minutes.

        How do you expect him to get top line minutes when he has no offensive ability?

        –Because outside of saying he’s weak on his skates/is a poor skater and a -2, you’ve given nothing else to show that he is a disappointment and multiple numbers have been given to prove you are wrong

        Numbers don’t mean anything. They can be manipulated to say just about anything. Sports can’t be pinned down to an exact science. It doesn’t work like that and anyone who thinks it does never played sports. He’s a poor skater. He’s weak on the puck. He’s physically weak. He plays timid. He’s not a playmaker. He’s not a goal scorer.

        –I’m not going to judge someone off of a random game. If he had 3 pts tonight, are you all of sudden gonna take back everything you said? I doubt it..just like I wouldn’t if he had a miserable game.

        It’s not just another random game. This is his 3rd year in the league. He still has the same deficiencies in his game now as he did when he was a rookie.

      • MJS - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        How do you expect him to get top line minutes when he has no offensive ability?
        –you do realize, when I said top line minutes, I didn’t mean at the NHL level? He would be playing top line minutes in any other league. How many 18 year olds immediately start on the first line the year they are drafted? 2nd year?

        Numbers don’t mean anything. They can be manipulated to say just about anything. Sports can’t be pinned down to an exact science. It doesn’t work like that and anyone who thinks it does never played sports.
        –Certain numbers don’t mean anything, but others can mean everything. The irony is that you brought up -2.

        It’s not just another random game. This is his 3rd year in the league. He still has the same deficiencies in his game now as he did when he was a rookie.
        –Yes, it is just another random game (you could literally cherry pick any game you wanted to prove a player to be good or bad if you went by what you are saying). Yes it is his 3rd season, but you do know that he played in 77 regular season games in his first season and hasn’t played in 77 since then, right? If we’re going by games, he’s a little over halfway thru his 2nd season. It’s too early to deem him a disappointment even if his numbers say he is (which they do not).

      • FlyersFan - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        MJS

        Did you watch last night’s game? Couturier missed several POINT BLANK chances. On one he was right in front of the net and SHOT HIGH AND WIDE and didn’t even register as a shot on net.

        He has no offensive ability at all. He was a wasted draft pick at 8th when you consider the Flyers could have had Dougie Hamilton. Did you see the beautiful goal Hamilton scored for Boston against Buffalo on the rush?

        Hamilton has far better offensive instincts that Couturier does and he’s a defenseman! Another game goes by where Couturier’s stat line is a bunch of zeros. Again, he contributes nothing offensively despite several beautiful chances to score.

        At this rate, I don’t think Couturier is ever going to be more than a strictly defensive 3C who gets maybe 35 points a year at most.

      • MJS - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        Direct quotes:

        “Play defense? He’s a -2.”
        “Numbers don’t mean anything. They can be manipulated to say just about anything. Sports can’t be pinned down to an exact science. It doesn’t work like that and anyone who thinks it does never played sports.”
        “Another game goes by where Couturier’s stat line is a bunch of zeros.”

        Can you please make up your mind about stats?

        I can’t believe you actually think one game cements your opinion. You’re certainly cherry picking where you want to comment on his game. When it’s in a comparison to Schenn, you avoid any statistic because you know it doesn’t support your opinion, but when Coots doesn’t put up a point, you’re all over the stat line.
        Yes, he missed 2 wide open shots and I was pissed about it…no one who has ever been picked in the top 10 has ever missed 2 shots before. Like I said yesterday, this one game changes nothing. It’s one game. If he would have scored on those 2 goals, would you have changed your mind? I doubt it.

        “At this rate, I don’t think Couturier is ever going to be more than a strictly defensive 3C who gets maybe 35 points a year at most.”
        –not even 2 full seasons worth of games and you already think this? The NHL Nostradamus, everyone.

      • FlyersFan - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        MJS

        Where was Couturier last night?

        Two great chances to score and he can’t even hit the net. Made the pass to Streit that led to the game winning goal. 2 turnovers and only won 45% of his faceoffs.

        NO goals through 14 games now.

        Kid is a stud.

  3. willh888 - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    excellent. but damn you for reminding us of these moves. #5 is my favorite (non favorite)

    Reply
  4. Tom - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Philadelphia Flyers, the Oakland Raiders of hockey.

    Reply
    • feanor5503 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      The Raiders haven’t made the playoffs since 2002.

      Reply
      • Chris - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Check back in a decade…

      • Tom - Oct 23, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        Yeah, yeah, much easier to make the playoffs in hockey.
        Look at the last 30 years history of the Raiders, you’ll see the parallels.

      • willh888 - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        mm 11 winning seasons in 33 years since they won the Super Bowl. Raiders haven’t even had a winning season in over 10 years now (2002). Flyers on the other hand have been really good in the last few decades. What 2 bad seasons in 20 years? The only parallel is former tough guy mantra and no title in many years. Oh and both lost a big post season game on infamous calls in sports history

      • Tom - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Owner stuck basking in previous success – Check
        Hiring players associated in previous success -Check
        Stubbornly doing things the Raider/Flyer way -Check
        Discarding good players who don’t drink the Kool-Aid – Check
        FAILURE TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP IN 30 YEARS – CHECK

    • Hutch - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      ….or the Dallas Cowboys of hockey (The Jerry Jones, Al Davis, Ed Snider trio)

      Reply
  5. Truthsayer - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    All I can say is “wow.” I had forgotten about most of these trades. For the life of me, I still cannot understand the philosophy of “trade a draft pick for the rights to an impending free agent” nonsense that has been the hallmark of Holmgren for the past 4-5 years. Why? For the right to exclusively bargain with that player for the week before he becomes a free agent? Big deal. None of these guys were exactly Sidney Crosby-esque. And, it didn’t always work out (see Hamhuis, Dan). When the JVR trade happened I immediately texted a friend who happens to hold a higher-up exec position with the organ”I”zation, and said the Flyers will regret this trade for many,many years. He agreed. So here’s the good news: if the current version of the Flyers is as bad as I think they are (i.e. their skill level is accurately reflected in their record, as I believe), then the decision-makers HAVE to see this team is nowhere near a Mark-Streit away from a Cup run, as they apparently believed (we are at least 3 horrible years/very high draft picks away from legitimately contending again IMHO). Then, they HAVE to change this philosophy, right? Right? RIGHT?

    Reply
    • rich - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Wrong wrong wrong! Let’s not forget that this is a better team on paper then the one of 2 seasons ago whent hey were one of the better teams in the east. Trade Briere add Vinny clear upgrade. No Jagr fine but despite what everyone likes to say it was Jagr that benefited from G not vice versa. Jagr has been avg at best since leaving the Flyers when he is actually on the ice. They lose Matt Carle and get Mark Streit. Same player except Streit is a little better offensively. The “old defense” only has 2 players over 30 and strei may be 35 but has only played in the NHL for 7 years so he does not have the same wear on his body. Writers pick the concenient age of 27 to make it seam like an old defense. The goaltending is much more solid albeit unexpectedly but it is. They needed a new system that is all. It takes a bit to learn that system but mark my words they will score goals starting Thursday then the floodgates will open and all the fair weather fans and online bandwagon jumpers will be all up on the Flyer’s junk again.

      Reply
      • 33 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        well as long as the play hockey on paper and not ice, we should be fine.

      • Truthsayer - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Who says this team is better on paper? You? “Mark your words”? Who do you think you are? Giroux?

    • john procopi - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Change their philosophy? Did you listen to Snider rip into Panac for having the temerity to suggest that? This organization isn’t going to change anything as Snider made abundantly clear at the Lavi firing press conference.

      Reply
  6. Brass Villanueva - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Holmgren and Amaro could be the two worst GMs in professional sports.

    Reply
  7. Firebird7478 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Who still thinks Braydon Coburn was a good pick up? Watch a Flyers goalie give up a goal during a mad scramble in front of the net and ultimately you’ll see Coburn in the middle of it.

    Reply
    • Truthsayer - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      Actually, you’ll see Coburn standing off to the side covering no one but his own shadow…

      Reply
  8. rich - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Sorry but even saying mentioning Richards and carter in the title warrants criticism. They traded Richards for Simmonds and schenn. Since then Simmonds alone has outscored Mike Richards. Throw in Braydon Schenn and it is a clear win for Homer. Then you trade carter for Voracek and a 1st round pick which was coots another win for Homer. JVR has been just as inconsistent for the leafs as he was for the Flyers. He turns it on for a bit then disappears for a month. All the talent in the world is negated by his inconsistent play. Luke Schenn may not be perfect but he is a valuable piece of the defense. This is a poorly written article by a lazy journalist that jumped on the fire Holmgren bandwagon because they couldn’t be bothered to be creative and find a fresh story so they spouted useless facts most of which were meaningless to the team. If this team turns it around all of a sudden which I believe they will this “journalist” will be the first one writing an article on the good moves Homer made. Pathetic lazy journalism at it’s best and I weep for whoever printed this and even more for the poor shmuck who signs your paycheck.

    Reply
    • Truthsayer - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      Just say “no” to drinking and posting. Luke Schenn is barely an NHL-caliber defenseman at this point and if he wasn’t acquired for JVR he’d be in the AHL. Couturier has regressed significantly and shows no signs of stepping up his game. Simmonds is a nice 3rd line role player, not a leader. Voracek is the true picture of inconsistency that you attempted to hang around JVR’s neck. That being said, the Carter and Richards trades were not Homer’s worst, but they really didn’t do much to improve this club.

      Reply
      • feanor5503 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        That’s crap. LSchenn was the team’s best defenseman last year and was second in ATOI.

      • Jake - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        The richie/carter trades didnt help us yet because they ate still young and have yet to hit their prime. Richie and carter are in their prime. Luke was our best dman last year and this year he’s had a few bad games on a team where nobody is playing well and your calling him a fringe nhl ahl dman

    • Lyndon69 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      The Richards and carter moves were bad not from a talent standpoint. Between all those players, we probably got the edge talent wise in the deals. At the very least, we broke even. In a few years if this team somehow gets its shi.t together, we may just look back on the exchanges as a huge win.

      The problem is that the decision to deal them was what pushed over the first (bryzgalov) of many management-dominos that have led to disaster for this team. Whether their skills were expendable or not, theyll always be linked to the beginning of homers ultimate unraveling.

      Reply
    • BenE. - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      You’re right, rich. This is a troll headline if there ever was one.

      Reply
  9. Jason R. - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I has a sad :-(

    Reply
  10. BenE. - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    JVR was too soft. Just another Flyer who played under his size, like Braydon Coburn does. JVR for Luke Schenn was not a bad trade, let alone Holmgren’s 2nd-worst move.

    Reply
  11. OtisP - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Get rid of this guy before he trades Laughton for a bag of pucks.

    Reply
    • willh888 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      Do they even keep pucks in bags

      Reply
  12. Jake - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Is this all you have on the guy signing Gervais for two years… Really how does that get into any GMs top 10 the guy was just for dept and its not like he was getting 10 million. Also homer traded bobs big deal we got mason and stalorz. Mason we got for leighton and mason is our best player and stolarz will be our home grown goalie that will take over down the road so who cares about bobs when we signed bryz it was clear bobs was gone and I remember a lot of fans saying that he was a non prospect and to get rid of him but all of a sudden the guy win a vezina for playing like 40 games and everybody wants homer fired

    Reply
    • Simmonds17 - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      The 20/20 hindsight on the Bobrovsky deal is remarkable, isn’t it? There are almost as many people who claim to have known that Bob was our goalie of the future as those that claim they saw Wilt Chamberlain score 100 pts.

      Reply
      • Kaboose Bolton - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        Yeah…Half this city was begging to trade him and use what little upside was left that everyone saw at the time to maybe squeeze a decent draft pick or player in return. No one was expecting him to hoist a vezina trophy anytime soon.

  13. Jake - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    The only thing you can really blame homer for are the eminger trade, jvr trade(I like this one actually but I know many dont), and bryz.

    Upshall was a third line guy and was traded for cap reasons and because he was partying too much. Carcillo put up some nice numbers and even scored some timely goals in the playoffs when we were on our way to the cup. What has upshall done other than be injury prone and bouncing around the nhl

    I don’t like the bryz signing at the time I wanted him on the team but who could have predicted it would turn out the way it did.
    I understand what homer was trying to do with the eminger deal but it didnt work out and we lost out on a good prospect but GMs will make mistakes

    What makes a good GM is making good deals(he has) and when you make a bad one being able to get out of it (he has) and I know people complain about our cap situation but I want a GM that spends to the limit and puts the best team possible out on the ice

    Reply
  14. Lol - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Non story. If this is your GMs worst moves, you’re lucky.

    Also, I use the Carter/Richards trade as a litmus test of somebody’s hockey intelligence. Apparently this writer fails.

    Reply
    • Simmonds17 - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Well said. The Carter and Richards deals were net positives for the Flyers but are easy to criticize since the Kings won the Cup two springs ago. Hard to understand how Homer even gets any blame for Carter’s role in LA’s cup since Homer traded him to Columbus. It’s on that organization if it couldn’t motivate him to play well or get fair value in return. The Flyers did get fair value.

      And, how, oh how, will we ever recover from Gervais’ two-year, $1.6M deal? It’s horrifying.

      Reply
  15. Frank - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Unfortunately the inept management at the top, the resulting reckless tossing of draft choices and the highly questionable judgement in selecting draft choices is painfully apparent and reflected in this season’s 1-7 record.

    The fans disgust is reflected on Stubhub.. tix for Rangers game as low as $16, tix for the Ducks game as low as $9 and Parking Passes for $11.00!!! That about sums it up, a parking pass has greater value than the freaking hockey tickets!!!

    Reply
  16. Simmonds17 - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    So tired of the second-guessing on the Bobrovsky trade – and that’s what it is. Don’t act like you knew or expected Bob would win a Vezina after leaving the Flyers. Nobody complained much about that trade when it happened – and it netted the Flyers Stolarz, who is a very good goaltending prospect.
    Has Homer made some bad moves. Yes. Over the course of seven years, so would any NHL GM. The Flyers are in a sad state right now but second-guessing the GMs’ moves won’t solve that. For some reason our forwards are not scoring – that is the team’s main problem. Most of these Holmgren moves have nothing to do with that.
    Also, must be nice to be clairvoyant and know that Streit isn’t going to work out just 8 games into his contract.

    Reply
    • Frank - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      My issue with the Bob trade is that there were many questions about Bryz already from the locker room to consistency on ice at the time of this trade. I for one can’t tell you that I knew Bob would blossom (was Bryz part of the problem with Bob’s development???). My issue – the Flyers give up on a yet another prospect prematurely – hmmm, where have we seen this before?

      On the plus-side, if Mason continues his stellar play, what we can conclude is that a change of scenery has served both Bob and Mase very well.

      Reply
  17. shutit - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    I disagree on the timonen contract 100%. The Timonen deal, in no way harms the flyers because there was no one else to pick-up. We would have just had that salary cap room, instead of having another defenseman, what this team desperately needs with the likes of injury-prone Mez and Grossman on the roster.

    I think a general theme in this list, is that Holmgren over-pays for vets (vets who you know what they are gonna give you) in deals and contracts.

    I honestly think that Snider is the biggest problem. Keeps on living in the 70s.

    If I was a free-agent I would not want to sign here (see: parise and suter) bc they have no loyalty (see: richards and carter).

    Reply
    • frank - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      I disagree with you. At the end of last season when virtually every Flyer starting D-man was out (thankfully Coburn and Kimmo), Kent Huskins and Oliver Lauridsen, along with Mason steadied a very shaky Flyer defense. Where are these guys now Paul?

      Reply
      • BenE. - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Lauridsen needs to be in the NHL right now, along with Brandon Manning.

      • Kaboose Bolton - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        And I guarantee you that if we had kept them up and let timonen go, everyone would be foaming at the mouth for them to be sent down after their first bad game or two of the season as young players. Kimmo signing was the only option.

        A handful of meaningless, pressure frrr games at the end of a bad season are nothing to go on.

  18. donato - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Holmgren gave up 2 third round picks for Bryzgalov. one pick was for the negotiating rights and one pick when the flyers signed him.

    Reply
    • Frank - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Now I would be willing to give up 2 third round picks to get rid of Holmgren!

      Reply
  19. docdeath20 - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    We have the 2 worse almost 3 worse GM’S in sports A$$ Hole Ruben, Homer Simpson and not to far behind RoseBud the 3 Stooges. Flyers need to fire Homer Simpson now and start over Kimmo Stinks and he resigned him for a cool 6 mil while you have young kids in the AHL ready and able. A$$ Clown Ruben is clueless with talent why didn’t he resign Stink A Rino it wasn’t like a bank breaking deal, he is awful and had zero input for the 08 team that was fast Eddie and Pat G now RoseBud hasn’t really done anything yet he is almost on this list

    Reply
    • Mike - Oct 28, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Danny Watkins was Rosebuds call. He is on the list.

      Reply
  20. Frank - Oct 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    While maybe best to forget Gagne at this time – I won’t. Yes, I understand that Gagne is not an offensive juggernaut and not the answer to the Flyer’s many woes. But having Gagne around for another year or two, a player who can still score a few goals… which would be a few more than what the team has scored to date, a player who can actually put a pass “on the tape” and someone who can make plays on the pp and the pk – to have him on the cheap, could do nothing but improve the caliber of this team . But why would Holmgren want to do that, Gag’s salary wouldn’t take enough cap space for his liking. Why take a genuine bargain when he can overpay for overrated and very over-age players who contribute nothing.

    And worst of all, they led Gagne on over the summer and didn’t even invite him to camp – what a bunch of losers! And the Flyer’s management talks about its class and culture???

    Reply
    • Kaboose Bolton - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Why Jay Rosehill has a contract and gagne doesnt is absolutley baffling.

      Reply
  21. signguy - Oct 23, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    what about overlooking Patrick Kane to draft JVR?

    Reply
    • Matt S. - Oct 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      Serious or joking?

      Reply
    • anonymousk - Oct 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      I hope you’re not being serious. You do realize that Kane was the #1 overall pick and the Flyers had the #2.

      Reply
    • BenE. - Oct 23, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      Yeah how about that?

      Reply
    • willh888 - Oct 23, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      yeah the ol’ team with 71 points gets 1st pick over team with 56 ponits. Then that player, eh we know the rest

      Reply
  22. weaveman38 - Oct 23, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    The one part you omitted on purpose no doubt, was that your predecessors in the media on CSN LAUDED each one of these moves when they happened but now you’re Monday Morning Quarterbacking them. Really???… The man’s human and we all make mistakes and sometimes get it right. Move on, nothin to see here

    Reply
  23. tansolo1 - Oct 24, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    Bottom line realization:

    Holmgrem? he was hit with too many pucks in the head. Worse GM hand down
    Snyder? is senile to let Holmgrem spend money like that on stupid deals
    Cout? ummmm….Sucks!!!!
    Giroux? he is not the same player he was two years ago.
    Hartnell? dog poop.
    Fyers? Going nowhere

    Reply
  24. licari - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    The Flyers are an established Hockey Market. Remind yourself this is a business. Sometimes things are done for the benefit of the league. Money…Money…Money…

    Reply
  25. Steve - Oct 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    This article is terrible. A combination of 20/20 hindsight and personal opinion stated as fact. “Weirdo goalie” – literary genius. Boo!

    Reply
    • Simmonds17 - Oct 24, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      I don’t know, maybe we should congratulate this author. He managed to bring together much of disparate Flyers’ fanbase – in its dislike of this article’s generalities and Monday-morning quarterbacking. I still haven’t gotten the memo that Mark Streit is a failure, btw.

      Reply

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