Holmgren did not answer the Flyers' question marks in goal, the biggest item on his offseason checklist, though he at least inquired with Boston about former Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas and double-checked that the Los Angeles Kings weren't parting ways with either of their two young, up-and-coming netminders.
Holmgren did, however, leave with options. And proof that sometimes he isn't going to get everything right - which comes with the territory.
"The one thing I'm a little disappointed in is the Hamhuis thing," Holmgren said after the draft wrapped up and the Flyers went home with six prospects. "We took our shot at him. It didn't look like it was going to work out, so we moved his rights. I don't think it had anything to do with our cap situation. But [he] may come around again on July 1. Who knows? He might be a free agent on July 1 like he is scheduled to be."
After the draft concluded, Holmgren received permission to try and negotiate a new contract with San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. While Nabokov has been prone to poor play in the playoffs, he does have four-straight 40-win seasons and a career 2.36 goals-against-average in nine seasons in Silicon Valley.
Holmgren would not comment on Nabokov and still has not confirmed that the two sides are talking. A league source told the Daily News that Holmgren exited the draft floor during Friday night's slow and uneventful first round to get some face time with Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan.
"We will continue to look at all positions," Holmgren said. "Evgeni Nabokov is a good goalie. If he is a free agent, we . . . I can't even say that I don't think."
After informing Nabokov he was no longer part of the Sharks' future plans, San Jose general manager Doug Wilson gave Holmgren permission to talk to Meehan about Nabokov if he agreed to return a compensatory draft pick to the Sharks if they were able to come to an agreement before July 1.
Wilson is a smart man. He knows how hard it will be for Holmgren to convince Nabokov to waive his right to the open market during a summer when teams need starting goalies. The arrangement works for Holmgren because he risks nothing to take Nabokov's temperature and for Wilson because he could get something for a player in whom he has no interest.
Allowing all 29 other teams contact you at their leisure is a winning scenario for a hot commodity. Desperate teams are bound to overpay. Holmgren thinks he ran into the same thing with Hamhuis - one of the most sought-after free agent defensemen - who may want to stay in the Western Conference.
"He spent his whole career in Nashville," Holmgren said. "Now he can wait 3 or 4 more days and see what's the interest level from a number of different teams. I'm sure it's an attractive option. When you have that opportunity, I'm sure it's probably a pretty attractive option for those guys."
For Nabokov, it makes little sense to sign before July 1. The Flyers are going to want to offer a special 35-and-over, incentive-laden contract - similar to the one that Meehan and Holmgren worked out for Chris Pronger last summer, a 7-year extension that lowered his cap number to $4.5 million from $6.5 million while he still earns $7 million this season in salary. The NHL has never openly admitted closing an investigation on Pronger's contract for circumvention of the salary cap, which was opened after it was already approved.
While the incentives may be easy to hit, another team dying for a goalie might be willing to give Nabokov a more stable, long-term offer. Wilson himself said it is a "complex" negotiation, which is why it is more likely to wait until after Nabokov can mull over other offers before saying yes.
Still, for a team that didn't have a first- or second-round pick, Holmgren said he was pleased with the overall outcome of the draft.
"I think we did good," he said. "Our guys are real high on [third-round pick] Michael [Chaput]," Holmgren said. "I will say we got a few players that we really had targeted in the areas we were picking. That's the scouts doing their homework. They seemed to be very excited. I've seen a few of the guys we did draft play, so I'm happy with what we did. I think we addressed a little bit of our size issue up front."
Those draft picks are still years away. For now, there is still so much more to be addressed.
On Saturday, the Flyers traded restricted free agent and Phantoms leading scorer Jon Matsumoto to Carolina for pick No. 206 overall in the seventh round . . . In all, 21 of the first 60 picks over the first two rounds were American-born players, tying the record set in 2007 when Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk kicked off the draft. Fifty-nine Americans were picked out of 210 draftees, 99 came from Canada . . . Overall, 23 trades were announced at the draft, two involving the Flyers.
For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at http://go.philly.com/frequentflyers.