Belief: confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
It’s a pretty straightforward definition, but how does it apply to our general manager, Paul Holmgren? As we’ve learned over the last few weeks, we should never, ever believe in what he says. He told us he liked the team, then proceeded to completely change everything. But, most of the time, he’s proven we should believe in his vision and the moves that he makes.
I’m not on board with all the reshaping that’s gone on lately, as evidenced here, here, here, here, and here. But, there have been plenty of times I didn’t agree with certain decisions and they ended up paying off. Looking back over the past few season’s since he’s been in charge, only one trade comes to mind that I still don’t really like: Upshall for Carcillo. But really, I’m upset about an exciting 3rd liner, not a huge difference maker. He’s brought in plenty of players that I had questions about, and they turned out fine. Briere is pretty much living up to what we expected. Carle isn’t great, but with a good defensive partner he’s pretty valuable. As much as I don’t like Hartnell’s skill level (low), he still manages to score at a decent pace, and he usually puts forth an honest effort.
Homer traded Forsberg at the right time, as well as Zhamnov. He didn’t let us fall in love with some aging vets that didn’t have too much left. He brought in Pronger when I thought he was over the hill, and we know see how valuable he still is. How about when he brought along Ville Leino for pretty much nothing? That worked out too damn well. Leino played so well that he outpriced himself for us. Homer brought us Andrej Meszaros, who was arguably out best defenseman last year. Nobody expected much from him when we brought him along, after 2 other franchises had given up on him.
Let’s not forget that we almost got Ryan Kesler for peanuts. Everyone wanted to rip Homer to shreds because he made an offer to Kesler when he was a restricted free agent. At the time, he’d barely played any NHL games, and nobody knew who he was. The Flyers offered him “an obscene” $1.9M, after a season in which he’d only had 23 points in 82 games. Homer wasn’t the GM for this one, but he was highly involved in that decision. Looking at what Kesler has become, it seems as though the Flyers eye for developing talent was pretty keen.
There have been a slew of other moves made that haven’t really affected the team one way or the other. These are most of the major moves, the results of which we can fairly judge now. While we haven’t won a Cup, we’ve been damn close. That’s the ultimate goal, and in that aspect we have failed. But the best you can hope for is to build a team that has a real chance. Maybe the cards fall into place and you get what you really want. And we’ve been in that position over the last few seasons. As fans, we can’t really control the fate of the team, no matter how much we bitch and moan. So maybe we are a better team than I expect. so far, Homer’s track record is pretty good, and he’s proven us wrong before. I guess we just have to believe…
I’d like to give a big thanks to Flyers History for helping jog my memory of all the trades.
It was Zhitnik who was traded at an opportune time, not Zhamnov. Also, Homer was the assitant GM during the Kesler RFA saga.
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