Executive Bios: Paul Holmgren

 
PAUL HOLMGREN
Philadelphia Flyers
General Manager
 

Paul Holmgren is in his eighth season as the general manager of the Flyers and his 35th as a member of the Flyers organization. He was named interim general manager of the Flyers on October 22, 2006 following the resignation of Bob Clarke. The interim tag was lifted on November 11, 2006 when he was named to the position on a permanent basis.

 

Since leading the franchise through a turnaround following the 2006-07 season, Holmgren has guided the Flyers through one of the most successful stretches in franchise history. The team made the playoffs in five consecutive seasons from 2008-2012, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals twice and making the eighth Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history in 2009-10. The Flyers enjoyed back-to-back 47-win seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12, their most in a two-year period since 1985-87, and were the only team in the NHL to reach the second round of the playoffs (or further) in each of the three seasons from 2009-10 to 2012-13.

 

In 2007-08, his first full season as general manager, Holmgren guided the Flyers to the best single-season rebound in the NHL that season. The club improved 39 points in the standings, posting a 42-29-11 record for 95 points after collecting just 56 points the year before. The Flyers returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and made an impressive run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Since the NHL expanded the playoffs to four rounds in 1980, the 2007-08 Flyers were only the second team to finish with the worst record in the NHL one season and reach the third round of the playoffs the next season (Detroit Red Wings in 1987). The 2007-08 Flyers were also the first team in 13 years to advance to the second round of the playoffs after finishing the previous season with the worst record in the league (San Jose Sharks in 1994).

 

Holmgren’s 2009-10 team made one of the most remarkable runs in Flyers history. The Flyers compiled a regular season record of 41-35-6 for 88 points and qualified for the playoffs on the last day of the season. They then went on to dispatch New Jersey (ECQF, 4 games to 1), Boston (ECSF, 4 games to 3), and Montreal (ECF, 4 games to 1) to reach the Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Flyers followed up that Finals run with a 47-win season and a division title in 2010-11, and again posted a 47-win season in 2011-12 after Holmgren dramatically reshaped the team’s roster during the offseason.

 

At the time of his promotion, Holmgren had served in various capacities in the Flyers front office for the previous 11 years. He re-joined the organization as a scout after he was replaced as the head coach of the Hartford Whalers on November 6, 1995, and was named director of pro scouting on December 30, 1995 when Bill Barber became the head coach of the Hershey Bears. Holmgren was named the director of player personnel on August 6, 1997 and was promoted to assistant general manager on June 14, 1999, a position he held for the next seven seasons.

 

Holmgren spent parts of four seasons (1992-93 through 1995-96) with the Hartford organization. He was named head coach of the Whalers on June 15, 1992 and added the general manager’s duties prior to the 1993-94 season. He stepped down as head coach 17 games into the 1993-94 season to concentrate on his GM duties, but was re-appointed to the position on June 28, 1994 when Jim Rutherford was named the club’s general manager. He compiled a record of 59-93-14 as Hartford’s head coach.

 

Upon his retirement following the 1984-85 season, Holmgren was named an assistant coach with the Flyers and helped Mike Keenan guide the team to three playoff appearances, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1987. He was named head coach of the Flyers on June 1, 1988, becoming the first former Flyer to be named head coach of the team. Over four seasons as head coach, Holmgren compiled a record of 107-126-31.

 

Internationally, Holmgren has served as the assistant general manager of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and the general manager for the 2006 U.S. National Team at the IIHF World Championships. He also served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey Tournament.

 

Holmgren played 527 games in the National Hockey League over 10 seasons with the Flyers and the Minnesota North Stars. He recorded 144 goals and 179 assists for 323 points while racking up 1,684 career penalty minutes. Holmgren was drafted from the University of Minnesota by the Flyers in the sixth round (108th overall) of the 1975 NHL Entry Draft and spent parts of eight seasons with the team. He helped the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1976 and was part of the club’s historic 35-game undefeated streak and Stanley Cup Final appearance during the 1979-80 season. He was traded to the North Stars in exchange for Paul Guay and a third round pick in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft (Darryl Gilmour) on February 23, 1984. His Flyers totals include 138 goals and 171 assists for 309 points and 1,600 penalty minutes in 500 games over parts of nine seasons (1975-76 to 1983-84). His 1,600 penalty minutes with the Flyers are second all-time in club history.

 

Paul and his wife, Doreen, reside in Somerdale, New Jersey. He has four children: Jason, Kirsten, Wes, and Greta, and two grandchildren, Hannah and Noah. Holmgren was born on December 2, 1955.

 
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