Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Cross Checks [Print without images]

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Skeptic's 2012-13 review: General mania

By Paul Grant

Paul Holmgren
Paul Holmgren seems like he has nine lives, doesn't he?
A skeptic's daily take on five things we learned from the 2012-13 NHL season:

3. Some GMs get a waiver: Take Pittsburgh's Ray Shero and Philadelphia's Paul Holmgren, for instance. Both are accomplished; both have made good personnel moves in the past. And both made costly boneheaded moves this season. Shero, for instance, took the high-flying Penguins, the prohibitive Eastern Conference favorites late in the season, and sloooooooowed them down with the deadline acquisitions of Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray to the point that they got swept aside by the Bruins in the conference finals. (Shero was GM of the year, by the way, an award that is given based on regular-season performance.) Holmgren -- fresh off cutting loose franchise cornerstones Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, who then reunited to help the Kings win the Stanley Cup -- let Jaromir Jagr sign elsewhere, which largely contributed to Claude Giroux's struggles, which cratered the Flyers' No. 1 line, which harpooned the team's chances in a shorter season. Then Holmgren gets rid of the wrong goalie (Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina with the Blue Jackets, of all teams) and tries to fix his Ilya Bryzgalov inflated-contract mistake with a buyout and by bringing back a goalie who didn't work out the first time with the team (Ray Emery).
Generous take: So many variables come into play when making player moves.
Skeptic's take: When does the heat get turned up on Holmgren, already?