Tag:Paul Holmgren
Posted on: October 24, 2011 8:29 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 10:19 am

Pronger takes stick to face, out 2-3 weeks

By Brian Stubits

The first period of the Flyers and Maple Leafs tilt in Philadelphia on Monday night featured three high-sticking incidents, the most disturbing of them was the one Chris Pronger took. Coincidentally, it was the only one of the three that wasn't called a penalty.

Have a look.

Pronger scrambled to the bench and didn't return in the first period. Between periods, GM Paul Holmgren said Pronger would not return against Toronto. No more information about the injury was given from the team, but Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia said Pronger remained in the arena and wasn't hospitalized.

The reaction from Pronger makes you shiver. On the video you can hear Pronger screaming as he lay on the ice and then rushed off as fast as he could.

TSN's Bob McKenzie later reported more. "He is seeing an eye specialist but because of swelling, more time will be required for an evaluation. No further details."

After the game, Holmgren addressed the situation further. Pronger will be bed-ridden for the next three days with swelling around his right eye.

“He’s got a little bit of an issue with his eye," Holmgren said. "Over the next three or four days, no real concern other than swelling or something behind the eye. He’s going to be on bed rest for the next three days.
“The hope is he’ll be fine in a few weeks here.  He will see the eye doctor for the next four days.”

Holmgren said it will be 10 days-2 weeks until Pronger is able to return to the team. That doesn't necessarily mean a return to the lineup, just to team activities.

"It's scary, obviously, to see him clutching his eye," teammate Scott Hartnell said in an interview after the second period. Yes, Scott, yes it is.

Earlier this season, Francois Beauchemin of the Anaheim Ducks had a similarly terrifying moment when he took a slap shot square to the face. Luckily for him, he was wearing a visor and he came out of the incident with just a few stitches above his eye from the cut. If he hadn't been wearing a visor, it would have -- not could have, but would have -- been much worse.

“To me, it’s not an issue, players should wear them,” Holmgren said. “Some of these guys have been around a long time and for whatever reason don’t want to wear them. When Chris comes back, he’ll be wearing a visor.”

This will only reopen the conversation on mandatory visors in hockey again.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 9, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 3:02 pm

Betts claim by Habs reversed, sent back to Flyers

By Brian Stubits

Blair Betts is back as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers after his waiver claim by the Montreal Canadiens was reversed.

Because of an injury to his shoulder that he sustained in the 2009-10 playoffs and continued to bother him throughout last season, the Habs are sending him back to Philly by the NHL. He had to sit the Canadiens' first game in Toronto as a result of the bum shoulder.

In doing so, the NHL cited a bylaw that states "a player acquired by waiver claim is not physically fit at the time the claim is made. The Member Club making the claim may refuse to take an assignment of such player's contract and the request for waivers shall be cancelled."

"While it is clear that both clubs have acted in good faith in this unique situation [waiver claim], I am not prepared to dispute the conclusion of the Montreal club doctors that Mr. Betts was physically unfit to play at the time of the claim," commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Therefore, it is my decision that, per league bylaws, the appropriate resolution to this matter is to restore the parties to the position they were in prior to the waiver claim on Oct. 5."

“After the waiver claim, Montreal exercised their right to a physical examination of Blair,” Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. “Apparently, they found something that concerned them and had asked the league to void the waiver claim. Blair is back on our roster as of today.”

With Betts going back to Philly, it causes a little consternation for Holmgren and his contract limit and salary cap. Betts is making $700,000 while the Flyers only have about $65,000 in available room, according to Cap Geek. So Holmgren will have to do something, likely leading to a little shuffling on the roster to get back under. It shouldn't be an issue before the Flyers play another game, but it's some necessary house cleaning for Holmgren.

Also, it brings the Flyers to the maximum 50 contracts once again. While that isn't a problem quite yet, it could be once/if rookie Sean Couturier plays in his 11th game. That will make him contract No. 51, so something will have to give.

In the end it could be a nice break for Philly, who might like to have a tough defensive forward at the ready for a call-up if a seemingly thin PK unit needs some killers. That's assuming, of course, Betts is ready enough to go. Moreover, they would probably welcome him in the faceoff circle.

“I happen to think a lot of Blair as a penalty killer, good faceoff guy,” Holmgren said after waiving Betts. “He’s really an ideal fourth-line guy and the fact that some of those young guys were utilized killing penalties in the preseason, I think some of the guys that we acquired in the summer or through free agency or trade can fill that role too. We’ll see.

“Blair’s obviously been a big part of things over the last couple years. It was a difficult conversation with him today.”

At the same time, it's a tough decision for the Canadiens. The addition of Betts was a very quiet, but solid addition for them and he figured to add to their usually always solid special teams.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 10:05 am

Daily Skate: Deal or no deal to buy the Blues?

By Brian Stubits

There are 12 teams getting their season under way tonight in the NHL. Two of them will come early in Europe as the Kings-Rangers and Sabres-Ducks battle at 1 ET. Then tonight there are four more games back in North America, including the Rick Nash/Jeff Carter era beginning in Columbus. Scoreboard

DEAL OR NO DEAL? It recently came out from Jeremy Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Matthew Hulsizer, the Chicago man who nearly bought the Coyotes, has reached a verbal agreement to purchase the Blues. But Andy Strickland at True Hockey says not so fast, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, but at least things are promising.

EARLY RETURN: Nothing like a small sample size. Yes, the Flyers played solid defense on Thursday in beating the defending champion Bruins in Boston, but Ryan Bright says the plan of GM Paul Holmgren that saw sweeping changes this offseason already looks good. It very well could be, but remember; Matt Cooke is on pace for 164 goals, too. Time will truly tell. (Philadelphia Sports Daily)

HIS WAY OF HELPING: Ilya Kovalchuk is doing his part to raise money for the Yaroslavle Victims Families Fund. He is going to give away signed 8x10 photographs of himself to anybody who donates $17 dollars or more. To make a donation, contact PuckAgency, LLC at info@puckagency.com to say you want to donate. A response e-mail will be sent to you with instructions on what to do. (Fire and Ice Blog)

TWITTER TRASHTALKING: Speaking of good causes, the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers are encouraging fans to engage in a Twitter battle for Friday's game in Sweden. The Kings have announced that for ever #GoLAKings hashtag, that follower will be entered in a contest for a free round-trip flight and the Kings will donate to the Children's Hospital in L.A. for 5,000. Safe to assume the Rangers have a similar plan. (Pro Hockey Talk)

HERE TO STAY: Last season, ballyhooed Hurricanes prospect Zac Dalpe got just a taste of the NHL, playing in just 15 games a season ago, scoring three goals and an assists. But this year he hopes to stay from beginning to end in Carolina and the 'Canes would love it if he could bring home a second straight Calder Trophy to Carolina. (News and Observer)

QUICK STARTS: The Colorado Avalanche will have No. 2 overall draft pick Gabriel Landeskog on the roster, getting meaningful minutes this season. So that begs the question: who are the best rookies in Avalance/Nordiques history? Here is a list of the Top 10. (Denver Post)

NEW AND IMPROVED: Things are finally feeling they are headed in the right direction in Columbus. The team has some Stars, the financial future seems fixed and there's real excitement for the team. Aaron Portzline previews the season that lies ahead, including one interesting cereal box. (Columbus Dispatch)

HE CAN BE YOUR HERO: Meant to include this in yesterday's Skate, but here is Kris Versteeg of the Florida Panthers being put on the spot at a preseason fundraiser after a bidding war (jacked up by GM Dale Tallon) buys a song from the crooner. Credit to Versteeg, who doesn't hesitate or shy away from a, um, rendition of Enrique Iglesias's Hero. The song starts right around the 2-minute mark.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 2:04 pm

Pronger progressing well, eyeing season opener

By Brian Stubits

Chris Pronger could be ready for the start of the season after all.

The Flyers defenseman (and favorite to be named next captain) is making strides toward being able to begin the season with the team. Recovering from back issues that caused him to seriously delay his offseason preparations to the point he couldn't even lift weights, Pronger has twice skated in full equipment recently, leading to speculation he is progressing faster than anticipated.

Here's Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, courtesy of Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News:

“I think he is doing better than even he thought he would,” Holmgren said. “He’s pushed the envelope a little bit over the last few days, going on the ice and shooting the puck. I asked him the other day how far behind he is in terms of what he normally would have done, he said he probably would have skated a couple weeks ago.”

Does that mean Pronger, who turns 37 next month, could be ready for the start of the season on Oct. 6, despite not being cleared to lift weights well into August? Holmgren said Pronger has not had any setbacks.

“I think he’s right on track for all he’s been through,” Holmgren said. “I’m excited for him being ready at the start of the season and I think he is, too.”

Doesn't even sound like cautious optimism to me.

As much as Philly would love to have Pronger back on the ice, there is zero need to rush him. He hasn't been the sturdiest player in recent years. Obviously they would rather still have him at season's end and miss the beginning than the other way around. But then again the Flyers open with the defending champion Bruins, so perhaps Pronger is pushing a little harder to be on the ice for that game.

But the one thing we can certainly take from this is that Pronger is coming along well and shouldn't be off the ice for too long to open the year.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 5, 2011 10:29 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 1:41 pm

Flyers GM Holmgren injured in bike accident

By: Adam Gretz

Scary news out of the Philadelphia Flyers organization on Monday night as it was reported by Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia that general manager Paul Holmgren was involved in a bike accident in Avalon, New Jersey.

According to Panaccio, Holmgren suffered "broken ribs, a broken shoulder and other injuries that required stitches."

The Avalon Police Department sent out a release on Tuesday regarding the incident (h/t to broadstreethockey.com).


(Avalon, NJ) — Avalon Police were called to the scene of a bicycle accident on Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 11:28am. A man identified as 55 year old Paul Holmgren of Somerdale, New Jersey was riding his bicycle northbound on Dune Drive at 58th Street when he lost his balance and fell from the bicycle. No other vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians were involved in the accident.

Mr. Holmgren suffered a cut to the right side of his head and a shin abrasion, and was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House, New Jersey by the Avalon Rescue Squad. He was conscious and alert at the time of the accident and told police that he lost his balance while on his bicycle. Mr. Holmgren was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Avalon Patrolman Samuel Hoffman was the responding officer.

The Flyers have yet to make an official announcement but several players, including Matt Carle and James van Riemsdyk went to Twitter to express their concern.

Holmgren, 55, has been with the Flyers organization since the mid-90's and has held a number of positions in the front office. He was named general manager of the club following the resignation of Bobby Clarke early in the 2006-07 season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 1, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 8:36 pm

Busy Panthers get Versteeg in trade, sign five

Dale Tallon has been one of the busiest men today, and now he's made another move. The Florida Panthers GM acquired Kris Versteeg from the Philadelphia Flyers for a pair of draft picks down the road.

There had been a lot of talk around the draft last week that the Panthers were trying to get Versteeg from the Flyers. Now, it actually goes through. You might remember that Versteeg played for Tallon while he was in Chicago, making it another former Blackhawk added to the Panthers roster, joining Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky and Jack Skille in the past six months.

It stood to reason the Panthers would be busy considering they had to spend more than any team just to reach the salary cap minimum. In the past few weeks they've taken on the the nickname FLOOR-ida. They also made four moves on the free-agent market, signing Scottie Upshall, Jose Theodore, Ed Jovanovski and Marcel Goc to big deals within the first two hours of free agency beginning.

They topped it all off by later signing Tomas Fleischmann to a four-year, $18 million contract. Fleischmann has been battling a blood clot issue but is believed to be over it as long as he continues to take the prescribed medicine. His highest offensive output came two seasons ago with Washington when he scored 23 goals with 28 assists.

But that didn't end the day for the Panthers. Oh no, they still had one more move left in them. In the late evening, the Panthers announced the signing of Sean Bergenheim for four years at an average of $2.75 million. Bergenheim had a breakout performance when he scored nine goals in the playoffs for Tampa Bay, substantially increasing his asking price and the Lightning were no longer willing to meet it. The Panthers hope Bergenheim found himself in the playoffs and he can continue to play up to a level close to that.

Last season Versteeg had 21 goals and 25 assists.

For Philadelphia it adds to another busy day, something that has become the norm for GM Paul Holmgren of late. Earlier in the day he surprised the NHL by signing Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract then added Maxime Talbot from the Penguins. After those moves he was approaching the salary ceiling, but by sending Versteeg to Florida he opens up just more than $3 million on the cap, according to capgeek.com.

By Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

Click here for more free-agency updates.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com