PHILADELPHIA - In just his second year in the National Hockey League, the
Philadelphia Flyers looked no further than second-year forward, Dave Poulin,
to succeed Bobby Clarke as captain when the future NHL Hall-of-Famer hung up
his skates following the 1983-84 season.
When Clarke announced that he was stepping down as the Flyers general
manager on Oct. 22, it seemed only natural that Poulin's name would be one
of the first, along with former Flyers Ron Hextall and Pat Quinn, to
possibly replace Clarke.
For now, that role belongs to Paul Holmgren, who was elevated from his role
as the team's assistant general manager on an interim basis, by Flyers
chairman Ed Snider and team president Peter Luukko.
Poulin spent the weekend at the Wachovia Centre, watching the Flyers and
their AHL-affiliate, the Phantoms, and would prove to be an interesting
addition to the team's front office.
Among the Flyers' struggles on draft day, is their inability to harvest
talent from the collegiate ranks.
You have to go back to 1984 to find the last high-end, NCAA player drafted
by the Flyers (Scott Mellanby with the 27th overall pick in the 1984 NHL
Entry Draft), which makes Poulin an interesting candidate.
Poulin, who admittedly has been immersed in the U.S. college game for more
than a decade, flatly denied a return to Philadelphia in the general manager
"I really don't know if I want to go back to the NHL," said Poulin, who
serves as the Special Assistant to the Senior Associate Athletic Director
for Athletic Development at Notre Dame.
Following a successful, 10-year career as head coach of the Notre Dame men's
ice hockey team, Poulin is "happy to be back in the Notre Dame community."
where his family lives just a few miles from the South Bend, IN campus.
"I have a very good position, and my twin girls (Lindsay and Taylor) are
students there, and have thrived (at Notre Dame)," said Poulin.
Among Poulin's current duties are fundraising activities directed for
renovations of Notre Dame's existing hockey facility in the Joyce Center
He's also doing some scouting for the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, which is what
brought him to Philadelphia, following the Notre Dame-Navy football game in
"Right now, I'm doing some work for (executive vice president and general
manager) Brian Burke and (senior vice president of hockey operations) Bob
Murray with the Anaheim Ducks, and I'm just re-learning the (NHL) right
now," explained Poulin.
"I've been away (from the NHL) for a long time, and when I was immersed in
college hockey, I really didn't have an opportunity to follow (the
professional game)," said Poulin.
"Right now I'm just taking a look at the league, and some of the players."
Poulin also thinks his former coach should be given the chance to do the
"Obviously I'm good friends with Homer (Paul Holmgren), and I think he'll do
a fine job (as general manager)," said Poulin.
He disputes the rumours that have him landing in Philadelphia on a regular
basis, and stated that "no one (in the Flyers organization) has contacted
me, and it's not something I'm looking to do right now."
So, if not the GM role, what about Poulin as assistant general manager under
Poulin's ability to mine the vast talent pool of college hockey would prove
invaluable to the Flyers.
"I have a few different things going on…I don't know what the future will
hold, and I don't know if there's a defined time to get back into
something," Poulin said.
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