Judging Paul Holmgren’s Worst Flyers Moves, Part 2

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for The Broad Street Bully, a blog and podcast my friend Drew and I started based off of our mutual interest in the Philadelphia Flyers. See it on http://broadstreetbully.net.]

Broad Street Hockey are a group of good people.  I was trying to find things to write about when I came across one of their older posts: Paul Holmgren’s 10 worst moves as Flyers general manager.  You can go to their site via the link and read some well written reviews of each move and understand why they were ranked where they were.

Since it’s easier to just comment on all the hardwork someone else did, here’s what I think about Holmgren’s Not Top 10 in his time with the Flyers.

After the jump, we go from 5 to 1.

05. Trading a first round pick (John Carlson) for Steve Eminger and a 3rd round pick

Why anybody ever though Steve Eminger had any value was far beyond me.  I don’t think he ever made the splash in the NHL that everyone expected him too.  The first round pick the Flyers gave up for Steve Eminger eventually became John Carlson of the Washington Capitals.  Carlson has turned into one of Washington’s stalwarts on defense.  He’s a solid defensive anchor the Flyers could’ve used.  However, the Flyers defense is projected to come along very nicely so losing out of Carlson may not have been the worst thing that could have happened.

And the third round pick the Flyers got turned into goalie, Jacob DeSerres.  Just for fun, let’s hit Wikipedia and find out where he’s currently at.

In a 4-year career with the Calgary Dinos, he appeared in 48 regular season games posting a record of 32-13-2, with a cumulative goals against average of 2.19 and .914 save percentage.[5] DeSerres was named the CIS “Goaltender of the Year”[6] during the 2013–14 season, while also being named to the CIS All-Canadian First Team[7] during that same season. DeSerres joined the Colorado Eagles late in the 2014–15 campaign and posted a 1.94 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage in two regular season starts. He would also go on to see action in two playoff contests for the Eagles against the Ontario Reign.[8]

At least he’s focusing on getting an education.

04. Signing Vincent Lecavalier

How is this only at number four?  Holmgren pretty much outbid himself on Vinny and now Hextall is stuck figuring out how to fix the mistake.  What can I say about Vincent Lecavalier and his tenure with the Flyers that everyone hasn’t already written about this offseason?  The Flyers better hope Vinny picks up some speed and starts playing without getting injured or everyone’s just going to hate him more.

03. Acquiring and signing Ilya Bryzgalov

I wanted to like Bryzgalov.  I really did.  And I will say that I saw the most amount of random fluke goals when he was in net.  But the contract that Holmgren handed him (encouraged by Snider, no doubt), and the pressures put on Bryzgalov from day one in town, were just too much for him.  He never lived up to the aspirations that Holmgren had. Sure, Bryzgalov had a Stanley Cup on his resume but it was as a backup in Anaheim.  And, in Phoenix, he never proved he could make a deep run in the playoffs.

It’s also disastrous thinking of what goalies were available at the time.  I remember clearly that I was hoping Holmgren would make a play for Corey Schneider, who was sitting behind Luongo in Vancouver, and wasting his potential.  That never happened and, years later, the Devils made a power move for Schneider at the 2013 draft and made him their heir apparent to legend, Martin Brodeur.

02. Trading James Van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn

Like Lecavalier, this has been discussed prior, as well.  It hurts even more when you realize we picked JVR second.  After we lost the first pick in the draft to Chicago.  Who picked Patrick Kane.  Minus this turbulent offseason, imagine if Patrick Kane was wearing orange and black.  He certainly wouldn’t have been able to crush my hopes and dreams in Game 6.

01. Trading Scottie Upshall and a 2nd round pick for Dan Carcillo

I would’ve ranked four, three, and two higher than this.  BSH picked it because of all the collateral damage it did to get the Flyers back to salary cap compliance (waiving Vaananen and Metropolit, making Giroux go between the NHL and AHL even though he should’ve stayed at the NHL level, signing players to amateur tryouts) but I’m putting the other three higher because the players involved were supposed to be considered franchise guys when they were acquired.

However, Dan Carcillo was the worst and I’ll never understand why Holmgren looked at him and thought it was a good idea.  He was a penalty mark and he didn’t do anything offensively to really warrant a big paycheck.  Upshall was the better player and the Flyers had to move him to free up roughly $300k in salary cap space.

And the pick the Flyers traded to Phoenix eventually became left winger, Lucas Lessio.  Here’s what Wikipedia said about him.

Following a successful pre-season training camp, Lessio made the cut to start the 2013–14 season in the NHL with the Phoenix Coyotes.

For a team starved for left wingers, who knows how this one could have turned out for the Flyers?

That’s all ten.  Thanks for reading everyone.  Check back tomorrow to listen to the fourth show.

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