CALGARY, Alberta - Paul Holmgren, elevated to club president last May, has no regrets about leaving the Flyers general manager's job and handing the reins to Ron Hextall.
Making his second trip with the team this season because he wanted to be at ceremonies Tuesday in Vancouver honoring his good friend, the late Pat Quinn, Holmgren said he likes the new challenges of being the Flyers president.
"I still feel a part of things," Holmgren said Thursday before the game against the Flames. "I get to talk to the coaches quite a bit and the players because I'm right there at the practice rink. The other stuff has been a real learning experience for me and I enjoy it."
Working closely with Shawn Tilger, chief operating officer of business operations, Holmgren spends most of his days on the business end of things.
Holmgren, who confers with Hextall on major personnel decisions, said he likes the deals the new general manager made recently, acquiring four draft selections - first-, second- and third-round picks, plus a conditional pick that could be as high as a second-rounder - and defenseman Radko Gudas in deals for Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn.
"I think Ron's done a good job," Holmgren said. "What he did at the trade deadline put us in a better position for the future. I like what he's doing."
Holmgren was in Vancouver Tuesday for the emotional tribute to Quinn, who had a street named after him. He died Nov. 23 at age 71.
"I got to know him in a lot of different ways, both playing for him and off the ice," Holmgren said. "He had a tremendous impact on my life as a player and as a person."
After missing six games because of an unspecified injury, defenseman Michael Del Zotto returned to the lineup Thursday. Coach Craig Berube went with seven defensemen and 11 forwards, and Vinny Lecavalier was a healthy scratch. . . . Matt Read will rejoin the team in Edmonton on Friday after being with his wife, Erin, for the birth of their daughter, Roen Brittan, in Minnesota.