Throughout his eight-year tenure as Flyers GM, Paul Holmgren was responsible for 64 trades and dozens of free agent acquisitions and draft choices. Some flew under the radar and are forgotten, some could have used an "undo" button and some are among great deals in Flyers history. This week's Flyers Five looks at five moves that defined the Paul Holmgren era of Flyers hockey.
Honorable Mention: Braydon Coburn
5. June 23, 2012: Luke Schenn acquired: The James van Riemsdyk-Luke Schenn trade was initially maligned by both Flyers and Maple Leafs fans, mainly because it was just those two players straight-up with no picks involved. It was a case of two top-five draft picks being swapped, and in Schenn's case, a change of scenery and chance to leave Toronto's fishbowl environment, which applied immense pressure that he couldn't live up to. The move paid dividends for the Maple Leafs, as 'JvR' helped return them to the playoffs in 2013 for the first time in nine years, while also recording career-highs in goals, assists and points in 2013-14.
4. June 26/July 7, 2009: Chris Pronger acquired/extended: After a first-round playoff exit at Pittsburgh's hands, the Flyers shook things up at the 2009 Draft by trading Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, two first-round picks and future considerations for Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle. A week and a half later, the Flyers locked Pronger up with a seven-year, $34.5 million contract, which prompted an NHL investigation for circumventing the CBA. Pronger's steady defense was crucial in the Orange and Black's 2010 run to the Stanley Cup final, but injuries caught up with him the following season and his eventual career-ending injury in the 2011-12 campaign.
3. June 18, 2007: Rights to Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen acquired: After a crushing last-place finish in 2006-07, Paul Holmgren set out to shake the team's outlook up for 2007-08. One of his first major move as GM came June 18, trading Nashville's previously-acquired first-round pick back for the rights to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. Holmgren then proceeded to sign the pair to six-year contracts, valued at $38 and $25.2 million, respectively. The two later went on to become franchise cornerstones.
2. July 19, 2012: Shea Weber signed offer sheet: Holmgren raised eyebrows all across North America when he signed stalwart defenseman Shea Weber to a mammoth 12-year, $110-million offer sheet. Flyers fans were giddy for the week that followed, as skepticism over whether or not small-market Nashville could afford to match the offer led to speculation that the Flyers could easily have a game-changing defenseman. The Predators matched just five days later, but the move further validated Holmgren's aggression as a GM.
1. June 23, 2011: Mike Richards, Jeff Carter dealt; Ilya Bryzgalov acquired: Rather self-explanatory, but the rebuild was on following a second-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins. The Flyers traded captain Mike Richards and leading goal-scorer Jeff Carter in seperate deals, then acquired negotiating rights to Ilya Bryzgalov. The moves allowed the Flyers to ice fresh faces in Bryzgalov, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier, and three of those names have gone on to become some of the team's impact players. The move helped show how far Holmgren was willing to go in pursuit of a Stanley Cup, even if it meant trading the franchise's biggest impact players.