The Philadelphia Flyers front office will have a new look to it very soon.
The Flyers have called a press conference at 11:30 a.m. ET to announce front office promotions. According to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, the announcement will be to promote Paul Holmgren as the team president and Ron Hextall as the new general manager.
This news comes as a bit of a surprise as it was less than a week ago it was announced Holmgren was staying on as the GM. Instead now he’s moving on up and Hextall takes over. Perhaps the rash of GM openings around the league pressed the Flyers into action if they wanted to retain Hextall.
Hextall has been an assistant GM since 2006. After seven years with the Los Angeles Kings in that role, Hextall became Holmgren’s assistant GM with the Flyers in July 2013. He’s been preparing and ready for a job like this for some time now.
Holmgren has been the Flyers GM since 2006-07 when he took over for Bobby Clarke. He’s been in the Flyers organization since 1995-96 when he was the head of pro scouting and then moved up to assistant GM in 1997-98.
It was a trying first season in Philadelphia for Vincent Lecavalier.
He missed 13 games with injury and went through the motions of adapting to a new team. While he finished the season with 20 goals, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and owner Ed Snider both expressed hope he’ll pick things up next season as Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com shares.
“He’s a good hockey player,” Snider said. “He got 20 goals with all the problems … he had a problem this year, but it’s got to be solved by next year.”
Holmgren said he was “disappointed” for, not in, Lecavalier for how things went this season and said, “a lot of things went against him.”
The Flyers signed Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5 million deal last summer after the former Tampa Bay Lightning captain was bought out by the team.
At 34 years old, Lecavalier’s best seasons are likely behind him and if there’s something for the Flyers to be nervous about, it’s his health. The last time he played a full season was 2009-10. If his health can get settled down, perhaps he can have a stronger season in 2014-15.
The Philadelphia Flyers have been going without Steve Downie since April 10 and will have to soldier on without him for an unknown amount of time.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave a brief update on Downie’s condition and, as Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com shares, he’s out indefinitely. The question here is whether Downie was sat down because he played poorly or because he was hurt. Coach Craig Berube didn’t do much to clear that up.
“Well, a little bit of both,” Berube said. “He made those mistakes and I was not obviously happy. There’s other things.”
Those “other things” could be a concussion. Downie was battling an injury he suffered against the St. Louis Blues on March 22. After returning on April 8, he played two games before being sat down again.
After seeing Daniel Carcillo score against the Flyers last night, the pangs to have a guy like Downie return to the lineup to be an effective irritant might be feeling stronger.
Another day, another Philadelphia Flyers defenseman headed out of the lineup.
The team announced defenseman Erik Gustafsson would miss the next two weeks with a knee sprain. GM Paul Holmgren said he was hurt in the third period of their 6-3 loss at Columbus on Saturday.
Gustafsson has two goals and five assists this season in 20 games and has averaged nearly 17 minutes of ice time per game.
The Flyers were without Niklas Grossmann in their last game as he dealt with the flu and was replaced by Hal Gill in the lineup. Andrej Meszaros was a healthy scratch last game and could draw in if Grossmann isn’t over his illness.
If none of that works, they could call someone like Brandon Manning up from AHL Adirondack. It’s never not interesting in Philadelphia.
Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier was already out with a non-displaced fracture in his back and now he’s got something else to deal with along with that.
Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren says Lecavalier is also dealing with back spasms to go along with the fracture and it’s causing problems with his ability to get back in action as Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post shares.
“His treatment, he’s able to do some rehabilitation, but until the spasm goes away completely, he’s kind of limited in what he can do,” Holmgren said. “The spasms have gotten smaller. They’re more around the fracture side now. Until that goes away completely, he’s sort of limited.”
Lecavalier’s initial diagnosis back on December 8 was for him to be out 3-4 weeks, but this development could drag that out a bit.
In the meantime, Brayden Schenn has taken over Lecavalier’s role on the second line while Michael Raffl is thriving on a line with Claude Grioux. If the Flyers could stop blowing 4-1 leads late in the third period, they might be going places.