There are some jobs that are nice and peaceful. Working in a fancy coffee joint or maybe a flower shop on a nice spring day. Then there are jobs akin to hell on earth with unending scrutiny with every single move you make. Welcome to being the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers! Chuck Fletcher, who has held the title for over three years, has been the man the fanbase has taken aim at after another atrocious season. It has led to speculation that his seat may be getting sweltering hot, but is he really in danger or losing him job?
The future of the Flyers is essentially one giant question mark. With dreams of grandeur for the upcoming offseason that could easily turn into disaster, there doesn’t appear to be any kind of long-term planning in the Flyers’ front office.
As for general manager Chuck Fletcher, the fact he still has his job after the season the Flyers have had lends credence to the fact that he isn’t getting canned anytime soon. They did promote Danny Briere to the front office with the task of shadowing Fletcher as he continues to build up a resumé before he gets the full time gig sometime down the road.
Promoting Briere is a move that may insinuate the heat under Fletcher has at least been turned on, but may not mean an imminent change. Apparently the Montreal Canadiens sniffed around Briere, who was the general manager of the Maine Mariners at the time, in their hunt for a general manager of their own. This could’ve been nothing more than a show of good faith for Briere as a way to keep him in Philly for the foreseeable future.
The reality is, his job security does weigh heavy in the moves he makes during the 2022 offseason and how the Flyers perform during the 2022-23 campaign. If he makes some big moves and the team prospers because of it, he definitely bought himself some extra time at the helm. If next season looks identical to the last two, he’ll be meeting the axe soon enough.
If Fletcher wasn’t in the long-term plans there’s no way they’d let him make his moves this offseason in either roster construction or hiring a new coach. You don’t give the guy the keys to the castle if his leash is short enough to deem a potential firing in October or November. If they didn’t trust him with the task of overseeing such a crucial offseason, he wouldn’t be here. Because of that, it’s safe to assume they don’t actively want to fire Fletcher.
Considering he’ll be here through the draft and free agency, the next big event to mark on the calendars would be the 2023 trade deadline next spring. If the Flyers are still stuck in the mud by then, that may signal a regime change, giving Briere his first opportunity to put his fingerprints on the team in whatever direction comes next.
Much to the chagrin of the fans, Chucky Two-Trades probably won’t be leaving Philadelphia as quickly as they had hoped. The pressure will be squarely on his shoulders to save a failing squad, which will be no easy task and the results will ultimately determine his fate. Luckily, they have Danny Briere waiting in the wings, already in the organization and learning everything he can about the business. When his eventual coronation happens, there shouldn’t be much of an adjustment period, but for now, the waiting game for Chuck Fletcher begins.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com