Thread: Confirmed with Link: Paul Holmgren earns 3-year contract extension
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01-18-2011, 09:17 PM
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Here's the Q and A from earlier today (involving Peter Luukko, too):

Q: Peter, Paul has developed some relationships with players away from the ice, helped them with some off-ice issues, and several free agents have said one of the reasons they came here was because he cares about his players. Do you think that's part of his success here?

"There's no doubt he's a players general manager and he's a good person and an honest person. When you're honest with players and support your players, word gets out in the league. One, they play harder for you when they're here but word gets out that their the type of organization we are and we've always been that way and right back to Ed Snider and Keith Allen when they started and right through Bob [Clarke] and then Paul [Holmgren]."

Q: Do you find that honesty also is shown when he's dealing with other general managers? You probably see that in other meetings. How is he thought of by other general managers in the league?

"They have a lot of respect for him. I think one thing that is very interesting with Paul is that he deals with every general manager in the league. Sometimes when you get in you have favorites or maybe you had a difficult time with somebody and you stop dealing with them. If you look at Paul, he has that great relationship. But at the end of the day, Paul wants to do what's best for this team and what's best for winning so he puts everything aside from that and does what's best for the team. But his contemporaries really like him. And he had that reputation as an assistant general manager and he dealt with a lot of those guys at that time, and he's just carried that on."

Q: Picking up on that thought, did you learn more about him and some of the most difficult decisions that he had to make last year, obviously John Stevens comes to mind.

"Well I think we learned a lot about each other in that difficult season. That's probably one of the toughest years I'd like to say in any of our lives, and the way at first he came together and said OK, here's what I'd like to do, here's the plan - let's begin to get rid of some of these contracts, we've got some good young players coming in. The Forsberg deal is a difficult deal. Peter is a very good player. But we cleared the cap space, played the young players, and then went out and got the free agents. So right from the beginning you could see Paul had a plan and he had the calmness to follow through on that and when there's so much pressure on a brand new general manager to win, and he did that. And the John Stevens situation was very difficult and it dwells on all of us and John's family, drafted by the organization, played in the minor leagues, played at the major league level, won Calder Cups, and had a lot of success. But again, Paul had to do what was best for the team and what was best for us long term. Those are difficult decisions to make, but he made the decision and certainly you learn a lot about someone in the toughest of times."

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