Campbell says no thanks on Flyers' GM job Meanwhile, interim general manager Paul Holmgren said he had been given permission to make changes.

Posted: November 02, 2006

The Flyers' search for a new general manager won't stop at the door of Colin Campbell.

The club announced yesterday that Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations and chief disciplinarian, had declined to be a candidate for the job.

"Colin Campbell and I have been friends for a very long time, and we both have worked closely together on the NHL's competition committee," club chairman Ed Snider said in a statement.

"When Bob Clarke announced his resignation on Oct. 22, I contacted Colin and we had a discussion about the general manager position," Snider said.

"Colin recently contacted me to inform me that he appreciated our conversation, but at this time he did not want to be a candidate for the position," he said. "Paul Holmgren will continue to be the interim general manager."

Snider declined interview requests.

So the search goes on, while a veil of uncertainty hangs over the struggling Flyers and Holmgren seems to be in an uncomfortable spot.

Holmgren wasn't aware that Campbell had been offered the job until he got a call from the Canadian Press late Tuesday.

"I know the process that Mr. Snider and the organization are going through," Holmgren said. "I don't think it is awkward. It is part of the process he feels he needs to go through, and I am fine with that."

Holmgren, a longtime assistant general manager under Clarke, said that his interim title would not affect his ability to do the job and that Snider gave him authority Monday to make whatever changes were necessary to improve the club.

"I don't know why we have so many names who could be general manager," Flyers winger Simon Gagne said. "I think Homer should have more support from us."

What happens to Holmgren if a new general manager is hired?

"That is a good question, and I am not sure how to answer that," Holmgren said, adding that "I would offer my assistance in the transition process and whatever happens, happens. Obviously, if someone comes in and takes over, it would be that person's decision to do as he saw fit in terms of his staff."

Holmgren said he would have to discuss with the new general manager whether he would feel comfortable remaining with the organization.

Flyers captain Peter Forsberg said none of the front-office upheaval should distract the players.

"As players, it is not our job to care about that, only to care about what we do on the ice," Forsberg said. "That is our responsibility. What happens upstairs is not our problem."

"When Homer came in - I always liked Homer," he said. "I heard some rumors about [Campbell]. We'll see what happens. It was a tough week last week. It starts more rumors when you do not appoint a general manager right away."

Coach John Stevens said that the naming of a full-time general manager was not an issue with his staff or the players, and that given the nature of the Flyers' play this season, he couldn't afford to allow it to become one.

"We've got enough to deal with right now with the hockey team," Stevens said.

Tonight, the Flyers host Tampa Bay in a bid to have consecutive victories for the first time this season. They blanked Chicago, 3-0, on Monday night.

Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or tpanaccio@phillynews.com.

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