Topic: Paul Holmgren

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Paul Howard Holmgren (born December 2, 1955) is an American former professional ice hockey right winger who played 10 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota North Stars. He moved into coaching after his playing career, serving as head coach of the Flyers and Hartford Whalers. He then moved into management and is currently the general manager of the Flyers.

Holmgren was selected by the Edmonton Oilers 67th overall in the 1974 WHA Amateur Draft. He never played for Edmonton as his WHA rights were traded to the Minnesota Fighting Saints. A year later he was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers 108th overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft. He began his professional career with the Fighting Saints in 1975–76, but left the team three days before it folded on February 28, 1976, because of financial problems. He signed with the Flyers shortly after and made his NHL debut a month later. Holmgren's hectic first professional season nearly ended in tragic fashion. While playing for the Richmond Robins, the Flyers AHL affiliate at the time, he suffered a scratched cornea. He was rushed to surgery in a Boston hospital and an allergic reaction to the anesthetic nearly cost him his life.

Holmgren spent the next eight seasons in Philadelphia and was annually among the team's leaders in penalty minutes and was also able to contribute offense. He posted career highs in goals (30) and points (65) in 1979–80 and added 10 goals and 10 assists during the Flyers playoff run. His three goals in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals was the first time a U.S.-born player scored a hat trick in a Cup Finals game. The next season, he was invited to the 1981 NHL All-Star Game and also the United States 1981 Canada Cup team (he separated his shoulder at Team USA's Canada Cup training camp in August 1981 and missed the tournament itself as well as the start of the 1981–82 NHL season). Holmgren was traded to the Minnesota North Stars mid-way through 1983–84. He left Philly with 1,600 penalty minutes, the most in Flyers franchise history up until Rick Tocchet broke the record during the 1991–92 season. He only played 27 regular season and 15 playoff games with the North Stars as he retired after the 1984–85 season.

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