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Volume 26 No. 50
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Flyers President Holmgren To Have New Role In Front Office Restructure

Holmgren cited spending more time with his grandchildren as the reason for reducing his role
Photo: getty images

The Flyers are undergoing a front-office restructuring that will see President Paul Holmgren "take on a new role" as Senior Advisor to team Gov. Dave Scott and Exec VP & GM Chuck Fletcher, according to Marc Narducci of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Scott also serves as Chair & CEO of Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Flyers. Under the new leadership structure, Fletcher "takes on the new title" of President of Hockey Operations & GM, and now reports directly to Scott. Holmgren said that he had a "simple reason for wanting to reduce his role." Holmgren: "I have eight grandchildren that I like and want to get to know and want to be around." With Holmgren taking a step back, Scott "acknowledged that his own role will increase." However, Holmgren said that he "still expects to contribute to the Flyers." Holmgren: "I am not going to go away totally" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/12).

DON'T EXPECT CHANGES: In Philadelphia, Mike Sielski writes there "may be an impulse to think that ... the Flyers are headed in a new direction" with this restructuring. Sielski: "This is exactly wrong." The fact that the two men at the "top of the hierarchy" -- Scott and Fletcher -- "don't have lengthy professional and personal ties to the Flyers would seem, at first, a sign that the organization is bound to blaze a new trail, but that's the opposite of what’s happening." Fletcher "earned this ascension by putting into action a plan familiar to anyone who has observed the Flyers over the last four decades." Holmgren said that he had "first talked to Scott" in June '18 about his "possible departure." It was not, however, until former Flyers GM Ron Hextall was fired this past season that Holmgren "felt comfortable enough with the franchise's direction to step away, and that Scott felt comfortable enough to let him" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/12).

PRIMED FOR SUCCESS: In Philadelphia, Jordan Hall wrote a lot of the timing of Holmgren's decision "had to do" with Fletcher and his "aggressiveness, savvy and that 'bias for action' the Flyers yearned for back in November" when they fired Hextall. Since Fletcher's arrival, the Flyers have "gotten what they wanted." Credit to Fletcher for "taking action," as he "wasted no time reshaping the Flyers, well before free agency commenced July 1." While the Flyers "haven't actually moved forward yet, they're in position to do so." The results "still have to come, but the Flyers see Fletcher making it happen" (NBCSPORTSPHILADELPHIA.com, 7/11).

IN GOOD HANDS: In New Jersey, Dave Isaac writes a "fear for a segment of Flyers fans and maybe even some of the team's alumni" ever since Founder Ed Snider passed away in '16 -- is "what becomes of the franchise's legacy with a corporate backing in Comcast and no notable alumni left to carry the torch?" Before Snider passed, he wanted Holmgren and Hextall to "lead the charge moving forward." Despite "rumblings that a corporate ownership was taking over more and more, both Holmgren and Scott said that the decision to take the advisor role was Holmgren's" (Cherry Hill COURIER-POST, 7/12).