For 32 seasons Paul Holmgren has been essential to the Philadelphia Flyers. On Tuesday the organization made it at least three more years.
The general manager’s contract extension comes just before the NHL All-Star break with the Flyers atop the Eastern Conference.
“I’m particularly proud of the job Paul Holmgren has done with our hockey club and excited to offer him this three-year extension,” Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider said in a statement. “He continuously finds the right opportunities to improve our team and get us closer to our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
“Today is a great day for the Flyers. It’s a great day for not only our fans, but our players and our coaches, extending Paul [Holmgren],” Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko added. “We felt based on many of Paul’s recent successes, including last season’s run through the Final and the tenacity of our team this season, that this was the right time to offer him a contract extension. This sends a message to our fans, players and coaches that we are committed to winning and our organization will be stable for years to come.”
Holmgren, 55, was assistant general manager for seven season before taking over the GM position November 11, 2006 after the resignation of Flyer legend Bobby Clarke. Since he took over the position, Holmgren has continued to root himself as a Flyers icon and as a general manager who truly understands his team and the city that embraces them.
“Philadelphia is such a great sports town. I’m really honored and proud to be a part of what is going on here,” Holmgren said before Tuesdays game against Washington. “I think our fans are ravenous, and our fans are passionate. I think that all of the sports teams in this town are all pushing each other and pushing the envelope trying to win the championship in their respective sports. I look forward to trying to accomplish that goal over the next few years here with the Flyers.”
Holmgren nearly single-handedly turn around a team that was last place in the league when he took charge to within two wins of last seasons’ Stanley Cup Championship. He has played a role in the building of the entire current Flyers staff and roster.
After three straight playoff seasons it only seems right that Philadelphia would allow Holmgren to continue his pursuit to capture the Flyers first Stanley Cup since 1975, ironically the same year he began his Flyers career via the NHL Amateur Draft.
“I am truly excited about this opportunity,” said Holmgren. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mr. Snider and with Peter, along with our coaching staff and of course our players in pursuit of the ultimate goal here with the Flyers, and that is to win the Stanley Cup.”
With the organizations success with Holmgren at the helm, his Cup aspirations seem pretty promising in Philadelphia.
“I think part of being a Flyer involves bringing your lunch pail to work. I don’t think that’s ever going away. That is part of our culture and tradition here.”