Last-place Flyers give GM Holmgren extension

PHILADELPHIA -- The last-place Flyers gave general manager
Paul Holmgren a two-year extension through the 2008-09 season
Wednesday, giving him more time to make Philadelphia a Stanley Cup
contender again.

"In this year of transition for the Flyers, I think Paul has
moved quickly and decisively to better our team on the ice and
position us for the future," Flyers chairman Ed Snider said. "He
has the right vision of what we need going forward and is very
deserving of the opportunity to be our general manager."

Holmgren was chosen interim GM after the Flyers Bob Clarke quit
in October. Holmgren, who was the assistant GM for the last seven
seasons, had the interim tag removed a month later but was given no
commitment beyond this season.

But he was praised for the deals he made around the trade
deadline, like the one that sent Peter Forsberg to Nashville for
forward Scottie Upshall and draft picks and acquiring goalie
Martin Biron from Buffalo.

Still, the Flyers are a league-worst 19-40-11 for 49 points.

"I am extremely happy and excited that things have turned out
the way they have," Holmgren said.

Holmgren also coached the Flyers from 1988-92, going 107-126-31.