Flyers

Paul Holmgren no longer Flyers president, taking on new role with team as senior advisor

Paul Holmgren no longer Flyers president, taking on new role with team as senior advisor

Paul Holmgren is taking on a new role with the Flyers.

He will no longer serve as team president and instead be a senior advisor to Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott.

General manager Chuck Fletcher will now take on a new title as president of hockey operations, as well, and will report directly to Scott. Fletcher, working in hockey since 1993, has been in the Flyers' GM chair since early December and has done plenty in his first offseason (see story).

For Holmgren, the role change was his idea and one he consulted with Scott, going back to June 2018. Holmgren, who has eight grandchildren, said the timing felt right to focus on family and the next phase of his life. He also made it clear he's not going away and will be available to Scott and Fletcher in his new role.

"I love the Flyers and I want the Flyers to do well," Holmgren said via a conference call Thursday.

Holmgren has served the organization for 40-plus years in a variety of roles. The 63-year-old has played for the club, been the president, general manager, assistant general manager, head coach and director of pro scouting (see story).

"It's been an honor to serve this franchise in many different roles throughout my life and I look forward to this next chapter," Holmgren said in a release by the team. "I approached Dave about my idea to step aside to spend more time with my family. I have complete confidence in Chuck in his new role, leading the Flyers to great things. The Flyers have given so much to me and my family over the years, and I have forged life-long friendships with the many players, coaches, employees and fans who have helped me make Philadelphia home for over 40 years. I would like to thank Dave and Chuck for their efforts to lead this franchise into a bright future and for their continued confidence in me as I take on this new role."

Scott commended Holmgren for what he's meant to the organization and how he'll be in a role similar to franchise icons Bob Clarke and Bill Barber as a highly valued sounding board and consultant.

Paul has been an invaluable leader within the Flyers family for more than 40 years, and instrumental in placing the organization in a strong position for future success. Paul has earned a place among the organization's all-time greats and certainly fits the role exemplified by our late chairman, Ed Snider: 'A Flyer Forever.'

- Scott

Scott said his relationship with Holmgren grew during the difficult time of Snider's illness and death in April 2016.

"Paul and I have been around six years plus now, we've watched a lot of hockey games together. I think the one thing Paul has really taught me is patience," Scott said via the conference call. "The game, it's line by line, period by period, game by game — it's a long season and you've really got to have that perspective because things can shift on a dime.

"We're colleagues and now we're good friends. We really had to navigate through a difficult time there and got through it. We have all new leadership in place now on the hockey side, so I think we're really poised for success."


(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

Scott will work more closely with Fletcher.

"Paul and I recruited Chuck together," Scott said. "I've gotten to know Chuck and I will spend more time with him directly."

Both Scott and Holmgren raved about Fletcher's performance thus far, especially in his first offseason with the ability to collaborate (see story).

"Chuck's got a really good grasp of things," Holmgren said. "He loves the Flyers, he knows the iconic brand, he knows how important the Flyers are to the city of Philadelphia and he wants to get us back to where we should be."

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Flyers vs. Coyotes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Coyotes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers own a five-game winning streak and seven-game point streak.

On Thursday night, the Flyers (16-7-5) will try to extend those season-best streaks when they host the Coyotes (16-9-4).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• During rookie camp, Joel Farabee, a 2018 first-round pick with a bright future in scoring goals, spoke about his strengths playing well on the penalty kill.

In fact, he said, "Honestly, I think by the end of my career, I'll be more of a PK guy rather than a power play guy."

When Alain Vigneault was told on Thursday about Farabee's comments, the Flyers' head coach smiled. He liked the 19-year-old rookie's passion for killing penalties.

With Michael Raffl out approximately four weeks because of a broken right pinkie finger, Farabee will get his wish by jumping into the Flyers' shorthanded rotation.

“There’s no doubt he’s a smart player," Vigneault said Thursday morning. "We’ve all noticed that from the beginning — the skill set and the smarts.”

The Flyers' penalty kill has been vastly improved under assistant coach Mike Yeo as it entered Thursday ranked third in the NHL at 85.9 percent. Coming into the season, the Flyers' penalty kill since to 2014-15 was at 78.4 percent, second worst among the league.

Vigneault said Farabee has watched film with Yeo and is ready to take on the shorthanded responsibility. How well Farabee plays in the role will have a sizable say in where the Flyers stand by the end of December.

• For tonight's game at least, the Flyers aren't ready to put Mikhail Vorobyev at fourth-line center. The Flyers will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Shayne Gostisbehere and Philippe Myers are coming off big-time performances, while Robert Hagg has earned playing time, as well.

• The Coyotes are 9-3-3 on the road and have allowed the NHL's second-fewest goals per game overall with 2.31.

“Speed, skill, they’re the third-best team in the league as far as the way they play on the road," Vigneault said. "They’ve been playing well for quite some time.”

• Impressive numbers from Travis Konecny:


Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Philippe Myers-Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

 

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With injured Michael Raffl out a month, Flyers call up Mikhail Vorobyev

With injured Michael Raffl out a month, Flyers call up Mikhail Vorobyev

Updated: 2:13 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — Mikhail Vorobyev, and the Flyers, are hoping a third time is the charm.

The 2015 fourth-round pick has been recalled on three occasions this season, with the most recent call-up coming Wednesday. With Michael Raffl out approximately four weeks because of a broken right pinkie finger suffered Tuesday night, Vorobyev is back and could center the Flyers' fourth line.

Raffl was placed on long-term injured reserve.

Vorobyev, a 22-year-old center with skill and penalty kill ability, has played six games with the Flyers this season. Down in Lehigh Valley with the AHL affiliate Phantoms, Vorobyev had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) through 19 games.

The Flyers will want to see him show consistent effort in limited minutes. That will have to be evident if he's going to stick in Raffl's absence.

“Misha, originally when he got here, I thought I liked the way he was playing, his energy," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Nov. 6. "It slipped a little bit."

Vigneault said Wednesday after practice that the Flyers may play 11 forwards and seven defensemen Thursday when they host the Coyotes (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), while 19-year-old rookie Joel Farabee will likely jump into the penalty kill rotation.

The Flyers have significantly improved their goal prevention and Raffl has always been a key piece to their defensive focus. His injury comes a week and a half after Scott Laughton, another important role forward, returned following a 13-game absence from a broken finger.

"It sucks, kind of a similar injury to mine with the finger, but just a sh---y scenario and a sh---y play," Laughton said of Raffl's injury. "It sucks, for sure, but guys are going to have to step up — that's what you have to do and that's what guys did when I was out.

"It definitely sucks to lose him on the ice, but off the ice, as well. He's huge for this group, for the young guys."

The Flyers are allowing 74 goals in 28 games after permitting 101 goals over 28 games last season. During their season-best five-game winning streak, the Flyers have surrendered 1.60 goals per game.

Raffl is one of the team's better puck possession forwards who helps control pace and has played the Flyers' third-most shorthanded minutes among forwards.

Vorobyev will get the first chance to fill the void.

 

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