Paul Holmgren is lucky to still have a job. It's true. After Missing the Playoffs in 2012-2013 and a 1-7 start this season, Homer snuck through a crack and kept his job. As usual the Head Coach took the hit and was fired (Bye Lavy)
Anytime you bring up Holmgren's name, The Richards/Carter/Bryzgalov saga is brought up... oh and let's not forget his Failure to land franchise D-Man...
Let's get into the Richards/Carter trades first (Don't worry, this will be brief)
Jeff Carter to CBJ for Jakub Voracek, A 1st round pick (Sean Couturier) and Nick Cousins - Not only did Homer get rid of Carter's monster contract but since the trade, Voracek has been a staple on the top line (While routinely scoring more points than Carter) , Couturier is one of the best Shutdown forwards in the league and both their Cap hits are below Carter's by a substantial margin.
Mike Richards to L.A for Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn - I nearly spit my beer out when this trade happened... Safe to say it's worked out. Richards' Numbers have been falling ever since the trade to the point that there have been whispers of LA buying out his monster contract and he's been demoted to the 4th line recently.
Meanwhile Wayne Simmonds has blossomed into one of the best power forwards in the league and Brayden Schenn has been the 2nd line center all season..although consistency has been a problem for him. Still, both of them have much smaller cap hits than Richards while producing more or similar #'s.
Now...The Bryz Saga. Yes, Homer signed him to that ridiculous contract BUT It's been said that Flyers Owner Ed Snider had more to do with this debacle than Holmgren did. I believe this since Holmgren still has a job. Yes, Homer has to take some of the blame but Snider is his boss and he had to follow orders.
Homer's "Failure" to land a Franchise D-Man is false. He's signed two since 2010. He can't be blamed for Chris Pronger suffering a career ending injury nor can he be blamed for Nashville matching his contract offer to at the time RFA Shea Weber. Weber signed the contract. He was practically a Flyer. Homer did what he could. He even went after Ryan Suter...but Suter had his eye on Minnesota the entire time.
Franchise D-Men don't grow on trees and Homer had 2 signed in 3 years. No simple task.
Yes there have been questionable contracts and trades given out (Hartnell, Lecavalier, Striet...the JVR trade) but He has made plenty of good deals as well:
- Jakub Voracek with a cap hit of 4.25 Million until 2016 is a steal.
- Wayne Simmonds with a Cap hit of 3.9 Million until 2019 (!) is Amazing
- Matt Read with a Cap hit of 3.6 Million until 2018 is Fantastic
- Sean Couturier with a Cap hit of 1.7 Million until 2016 is great
- Making Berube Head Coach
These are all Key cogs for the Flyers. Let's not forget Giroux has been playing with a 3.7 Million cap hit for the past 3 seasons.
I was skeptical of calling the Lecavalier contract questionable since he'd obviously be much more productive at Center or Right Wing.
And ever since the Matt Read find, GM's have been scouting the College circuit much harder.