Flyers Quarter Season Grades: Front Office
With chants of ‘Fire Holmgren’ raining down in the Wells Fargo Center only 11 games ago, it’s hard to ladle heaps of praise on general manager Paul Holmgren. Between an ongoing inability to manage salaries in a world of a hard cap, firing a coach only three games into the season, the puzzling acquisition of Mark Streit on a team in desperate need of solid defensive players, and a spastic series of buyouts and movements on franchise players, the argument that the Flyers had not improved much over the last few years is unavoidable. However, Vincent Lecavalier has proved to be an invaluable asset and seems destined to produce his best goal output in five years.
The Steve Mason/Ray Emery experiment has worked. The Steve Downie trade is paying dividends; even if he still skates like a tank, his puck control, passing, and fearlessness have given the Flyers possibly the best third line in the league. Each loss makes Holmgren seem close to the guillotine and each win pulls him further away, there’s a long way to go before the a more definitive picture emerges; if the Flyers secure a playoff spot with ten or more games remaining, he stays. If they miss the playoffs, he’s gone. Anything in between depends on how deep they go in the postseason.