Homer’s Do’s and Doh’s: Matt Read Signing v. Jagr Signing and Lilja Signing v. Bryzgalov Trade and Sign

Paul Holmgren became the interim General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers on October 22, 2006. That interim title was removed only weeks later on November 11. Holmgren was able to take a team that finished last in the National Hockey League, and rebuild it to make a deep run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals the very next season.

Yes, some of Holmgren’s moves have been amazing, but he’s also a guy who has gotten this organization into some hot water with the salary cap and was forced to make deals that were head scratchers to say the least.

If you enjoyed our Dazzlers and Duds polltastic tournament feature, we’ve got another one all lined up for you. Flyers Faithful proudly presents Homer’s Do’s and Doh’s: Our Favorite and Least Favorite Deals Under Paul Holmgren.

Starting Monday, November 19, there will be a single bracket with 32 trades, signings, and waiver-wire claims and losses, to determine exactly which deal everyone thinks is Holmgren’s best so far, his less than favorable so far, and whether the good outweighs the bad or vice-versa.

I don’t think anyone can deny that it’s been a real entertaining and exciting time in Flyers history with Holmgren at the helm. That’s a fact. But is Holmgren the king of exchange swinging, or does his penchant for quick fixes get him into more trouble than he’s worth?
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Yesterday’s Results:
In two more landslides the Jeff Carter trade eliminated the Mike Richards trade; and the Andreas Nodl waiving defeated the Mike Richards trade.

Today’s contestants:

Matt Read Signing
write-up courtesy of KimPollock

Paul Holmgren really hit it out of the park when he signed Bemidji State University product Matt Read to a three-year free agent contract back in March of 2011. Read made the final team roster in October and proceeded to have a terrific rookie season. He scored 47 points in 79 regular-season games (and another 5 in 11 postseason matchups), was an All-Star rookie, and a Calder Trophy hopeful. With 24 goals, he led all NHL rookies in that category. Read’s vision, speed, and overall talent on the ice made him a solid fixture on a young, re-formed Flyers team, and judging by the 19 points he’s scored in 13 games with Södertälje SK (damn lockout), it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll suffer a sophomore slump if the NHL returns this season

Jaromir Jagr Signing
write-up courtesy of KimPollock

When the Flyers signed Jaromir Jagr to a one-year deal last summer, a lot of people were scratching their heads. Jagr? Really? It turned out to be a great move. Though Jagr’s season was marred with various injuries, he had an immediate effect on his new team, and finished with 54 points on the season. The line of Jagr, Claude Giroux, and Scott Hartnell was in absolute beast mode at the start of the season, and Jagr was one of the league’s leading scorers at that time, as well. Not only was Jagr a major factor on the ice, but his off-ice training with the rookies (at midnight!) was typical Jagr. His veteran presence was felt all throughout the team, and the success of the young guys can surely be attributed to having Jagr around.

Which Paul Holmgren deal was better?

  • Matt Read signing (87%, 62 Votes)
  • Jaromir Jagr signing (13%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 71

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Andreas Lilja Signing
write-up courtesy of Kevin Christmann

A lot of people might overlook the Andreas Lilja signing as being a poor move because it seems low impact. A sixth or seventh defenseman signs a two year $1.475 million contract. It seems pretty harmless.

The issue is that it qualifies as a 35+ contract, effectively locking you into your seventh defenseman for two years. Why does any team need to have their seventh defenseman locked up?

Here we are one year later and the Flyers face some very tough decisions with their blue line. It’s crowded. Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Andrej Meszaros, Luke Schenn, Bruno Gervais, Andreas Lilja, and Marc-Andre Bourdon are all vying for spots. Bourdon is no longer waiver exempt so he can’t be freely sent to the AHL. That’s eight guys. There is no need for Lilja, but barring a trade, he isn’t going anywhere.

It just shows a total lack of foresight. Geoff Detweiler of Broad Street Hockey wrote a fantastic piece on the move.

Ilya Bryzgalov trade-and-sign
write-up courtesy of Estebomb

The Flyers have had goaltending problems for almost as long as I’ve been alive. It seems like the club’s eternal fate to suffer through subpar goaltending. After shuffling around 3 (!) goalies in the 2011 playoffs, Ed Snider had seen his fill. He had Paul Holmgren acquire the most highly touted goalie on the market, Ilya Bryzgalov. Naturally, in the grand Flyers tradition, Bryzgalov has been a mixed bag at best. He benefited from a terrific defense in Phoenix with the added benefit of little to no media scrutiny. The system and pressure have been completely different in Philadelphia. This isn’t even considering his monster contract, a 9 year, $51 million (a lovely $5.667 million per season cap hit) albatross. Bryz’s contact is a common suggestion for a possible amnesty and one that certainly cripples the team’s ability to sign future free agents. This isn’t even considering that Bryz is nicely described as “unstable”. Why you heff to be mad? Because Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract is awful.

Which Paul Homgren deal was worse?

  • Ilya Bryzgalov trade and sign (82%, 55 Votes)
  • Andreas Lilja signing (18%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 67

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