Paul Holmgren allowed himself a little laugh when telling the story.

In what turned out to be a tumultuous off-season last summer, the Philadelphia Flyers GM traded stars Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and signed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

But he wasn't done.

Now he was trying to recruit star forward Jaromir Jagr, who, in making a return to the NHL after three years in the Kontinental Hockey League, was trying to decide between the Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jagr had questions about the Flyers, where they were going and about Holmgren's philosophy on team building.

"He asked me why I traded those two guys (Richards and Carter). I just said we needed to get bigger in certain areas and we got some young guys we think are emerging, Claude Giroux being one."