The Philadelphia Flyers are making significant changes to their front office, and there could still be more to come.
Flyers announced earlier this morning that Chuck Fletcher has been relieved of his duties as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager.
According to TFP/Brotherly Puck Correspondent Anthony Di Marco the Flyers organization has been thinking about making this move for a while now, as it was long overdue. Anthony Di Marco was one of the first people to talk about the real possibility of Chuck Fletcher being fired late last night tweeting, “Hearing big changes coming in the Flyers front office.” Which would be true as the team announced the news of Chuck Fletcher being fired at 9:00AM this morning.
Now this doesn’t immediately change everything and make the Flyers great again, but it is a start. It will settle the fanbase down a bit I would imagine not for long if nothing else comes of it though. The Flyers did announce that they are looking to separate the 2 jobs of President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, instead of having one person fill both roles.
The Philadelphia Flyers hired Chuck Fletcher on December 3, 2018, just a month after Ron Hextall (current Pittsburgh Penguins GM) was fired. Chuck was the 9th General Manager in Flyers franchise history and the first since 1990 who was not previously a player on the team. Now it is looking like the Flyers will look to continue with old players as Daniel Briere steps in as interim General Manager. The Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs once during Chuck Fletcher’s tenure, and managed a 141-145-43 record.
Just firing Chuck Fletcher all though it is indeed a step in the right direction, it does not fix all problems. Especially with fans still upset with Comcast and how they are handling the situation. A lot more needs to be done and should be done within the next couple of days. Looking at the bigger picture for example removing Dave Scott from office can and should be a widely thought idea. The Flyers can not and I can’t stress this enough, Can not keep hiring former alumni and management with little to no experience. It is not how you run a front office, especially for a National Hockey Team. The team’s organization is showing signs of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
“I think it was going to happen at the end of the season (Firing Chuck Fletcher)… make a change at the end of the season, but after the reaction to the deadline I just believe they decided to move it up… Fans are unhappy. You (Jeff Marek) and I talked about the game in Philadelphia where the Rangers scored in Overtime and it looked like Madison Square Garden… We are just gonna do it now… I wonder if we are getting close to Dave Scott’s leadership too.”Elliott Friedman on 32 Thoughts spoke about the Philadelphia Flyers
Now there of course is a lot to unpack here but Elliott Friedman is totally right, Flyers fans were fed up and have been for a long time now. Especially after the Trade Deadline. On March 1st, seeing the Wells Fargo Center filled with Rangers fans like that should have definitely been a long overdue wake up call. I think the team decided to make it more of a year end thing and worry about it than of course pushing the problem away instead of fixing it. As Friedman alluded to. Good thing they didn’t wait and decided to pull the trigger now, to start getting change in motion. Friedman mentioned the idea of Dave Scott also getting the boot, which would be another big move that could desperately help the front office moving forward.
It is unclear when the Philadelphia Flyers will make more changes, but I would expect some moves within the next couple days at least. Jamey Baskow of Nitty Gritty tweeted today saying, “I can confirm that more changes will come within the Flyers hockey operations department. The Flyers appear to be restructuring that with no timeline. It will not happen today, but it will happen sooner rather than later. There are rumors of Chris Pronger and Eddie Olscyzk.”
Again unfortunately heading in the direction of a retirement home rather than a National Hockey League front office. Although Chris Pronger is very vocal on Twitter and seems to have a good grasp on what’s going on around the league, it’s hard to say what he could really do for the team.
With no real changes to the Flyers lineup during the Trade Deadline, one of the many reasons for Chuck Fletcher’s departure. John Tortorella is forced to work with what he’s got. Trying to flip this team’s future around. That is one upside to all of this season in the success of the young players for example the line of Farabee, Frost, and Tippett. The Flyers finally have a good Head Coach, everything else just needs to fall into place for this team to be successful. Meaning a lot of luck and an actual start to an “aggressive retool”, which was unfortunately understated earlier this year by Fletcher.
With at least some changes now in the process, let’s see how far this clearing of the front office goes in the coming days. But for now Danny Briere will be the Flyers interim General Manager for the rest of the season, at least it looks that way.
By: Dylan Robillard (@dyl2pac)
Photo Credit: nhl.com