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 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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