Ed Snider hints at changes to Flyers' front office

Ed Snider hints at changes to Flyers' front office
May 2, 2014, 5:00 pm
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Ed Snider reacts after stating that they're "in the process of analyzing everybody's title" and that Paul Holmgren will be the "head of hockey operations." (CSN)

Updated: 7:42 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Will Ron Hextall replace Paul Holmgren as general manager of the Flyers next season?

Club chairman Ed Snider said on Friday afternoon that whatever happens between now and next fall when training camp opens, Holmgren will be part of the decision-making process, but that job titles in the hockey ops department could change.

Holmgren said later in the afternoon he wants to return as GM next season.

Snider said he would meet with Holmgren, who has one year left on his contract, soon to discuss his future role.

“Of course Paul will be back,” Snider said Friday at Skate Zone. “Basically, he's the head of our hockey operations. The job he did I think was excellent. Not too many guys would have guts enough to fire a coach after three games.”

When pressed specifically about what role Holmgren will have next year, Snider said the Flyers' front office is in the process of “analyzing everybody's title” and that Holmgren will “be the head of hockey operations” before offering a wry smile.

Snider did concede that assistant general manager Ron Hextall was brought in to one day succeed Holmgren as GM.

“Paul brought in Hextall. ... That's why he was brought in [to become GM]. He didn't come in to stay assistant GM forever, but that doesn't mean tomorrow. But I've got to sit down with Paul.

“I expect our operation to be solid, good hockey men. We have a lot of people that are analyzing this entire situation.”

It’s Holmgren's call ... so long as he and Snider agree.

“It’s really Paul’s call. All I have to do is endorse it,” Snider said. “If I don’t agree with him, then we have a behind-closed-door discussion.”

There have been several general manager openings this season, and even this past week, that Hextall would have been a logical candidate for.

Yet his name has not and does not come up. Why? Sources inside and outside the Flyers say it’s because Hextall is going to be the next GM in Philly and it could happen this summer.

Asked if he wanted to remain GM, Holmgren said, “Yes. I’m the one who brought Hexy back. He’s an excellent resource in our organization, a tremendous hockey man.

“I have no question he is ready to be a general manager at any point. We’ll see how it goes. I’m certainly not in any position today to change chairs.”

Snider was observing Holmgren’s remarks from the back of the room at Skate Zone where the new conferences took place.

If Vancouver or Washington called and asked to speak to Hextall, would the Flyers allow it?

“I don’t have to if I don’t want to,” Holmgren said. “If that were the case, for me, you do the right thing. Is that the right thing? Yeah.”

Ironically, Hextall’s other title is exactly as Snider called Holmgren: director of hockey operations.

If a change is made, it’s entirely possible the two men switch titles, with Holmgren also taking on the vacant title of “club president.”

Peter Luukko, who left Comcast-Spectacor this past winter, was the previous club president.

Snider said he thought Holmgren did an “excellent” job with the Flyers this season.

In assessing the Flyers' current roster, Snider gave the team a "B" and stated that he was pleased with the team's core but does believe the team needs some “several tweaks.”

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