Is there anything more satisfying than a vacuum cleaner sucking up a big pile of dust? Watching history be sucked away and leaving behind a shiny new surface is always pleasing. Well the Philadelphia Flyers are considering doing the same thing when it comes to their front office. Now that Chuck Fletcher is out of the picture and the organization is at the lowest point it’s ever been, leadership within the highest ranks of the franchise has determined it’s finally time for change.
The hockey ops of department the front office isn’t quite as expansive as you’d think. It’s not some complex group of 30 individuals in some action movie-like headquarters, it’s mainly a bunch of senior citizens living in other parts of the country keeping their wrinkly fingers on the product long after their time in the sun came to a close.
There are three overseers at the head of Comcast Spectator in Dave Scott, Val Camillo and Newcomer Dan Hilferty, though only Scott is directly associated with the on-ice product and decision making. Four elderly advisors that act as the Illuminati for the club, an assistant GM and an interim GM.
So if and when changes continue, who can we expect to get the boot out of Philly?
The addition of Dan Hilferty as Comcast Spectacor CEO last month essentially elevated a ton of responsibility off the shoulders of Dave Scott which could come as a precursor to a departure in the near future, but chances are he’s not going anywhere immediately. Scott retained the role of chairman of the company and governor of the Flyers and will more than likely oversee the reconstruction of the front office.
There have been all kinds of rumors that he may be stepping down in the near future, which would be better for the organization to have an actual overhaul of the front office, but does he leave before or after those moves are made? It’s a pretty important question, and one we’re just going to have to wait and find out.
Verdict: Stays… for now
Camillo was elevated to President and CEO of Spectacor Sports & Entertainment last summer. She’s been overseeing the renovations of the Wells Fargo Center and has done good in her role. She’s essentially the head of the “business side” of the organization, meaning the blood of the hockey ops isn’t directly hands. She’s clearly not going anywhere anytime soon, the big question is whether or not she throws her hat in the ring to replace Scott as head honcho of the Flyers when the time comes?
Currently, Hilferty doesn’t seem to have much of a hand in the day-to-day operations of the Flyers. He was brought in to absorb the roles Dave Scott held with Comcast Spectacor other than the hockey stuff. They marketed the fact that he’s a Philadelphia native and did big things for the city such as landing the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and helping navigate the Pope’s visit in 2015.
He wasn’t brought in for no reason, but he may be nothing more than a corporate suit to handle various Spectacor ventures, but if Scott does indeed step down, he could, at least temporarily, step into the governor role for the Flyers. Either way, he just got here and isn’t leaving anytime soon.
Lombardi might be the most disappointing member of the front office. He had successful reigns as GM in San Jose and LA before being picked up by the Flyers shortly after his tenure with the Kings came to a close in 2017. He had actual building experience when it came to a Cup winning roster and he seemingly hasn’t used a single ounce of that talent here.
He somehow survived the Hextall era and has existed under the radar during his entire run in Philly. He’s currently employed as a senior advisor, and the only one of the four in that role that doesn’t have a direct link to the franchise. If they want to fire someone to signal change without rocking the actual boat, Lombardi could very well be the guy to get canned.
There’s gotta be some kind of ambassador role Clarke can take where he’s still loosely associated with the organization but doesn’t have any actual say. The issue is that more or less appears to be the job he’s already doing, but his voice, which may be rarely heard, still holds weight within the management ranks.
Do they actually fire him? It wouldn’t be the first time the organization has parted ways with Clarke, and if they’re serious about cleaning house, parting ways with him once and for all is a powerful message of change.
Holmgren is yet another man who’s been entwined in Flyers’ lure for many decades. He most recently served as team president after he was “promoted” from GM upon Hextall’s arrival in 2014. He left the president role in the summer of 2019 to take on the role of senior advisor, as it more or less signaled his retirement from day-to-day work for the organization.
Much like Clarke, his actual influence on the rest of Hockey Ops is unknown. If he still insists on being heard, especially if his decision making is as bad as it was during his las year or so as general manager, it may be time to officially part ways with Homer as well.
Barber is the only one of the advisers that is actively still around the team on a consistent basis and because of that probably has the loudest voice when it comes to consultation. Guess the question is whether or not he’s more in the loop of the ongoings of the team or is he just as out to lunch as the rest of them?
Maybe he survives because he’s still hanging around the Wells Fargo Center. Maybe firing him would have the most impact because he’s still around Wells Fargo Center.
Verdict: Possibly stays
If all else was equal, the Flyers would probably like to retain the services of Flahr due to his recent track record when it comes to scouting and drafting, but he and Fletcher have always seemed like a package duo and he may not want to stick around much longer without him.
He stayed around for a few months with the Wild when Fletcher was fired in 2018, so he’ll probably remain employed until the Flyers figure out their plans for the rest of the front office, but it’s hard to imagine Flahr is part of their long term plans.
Briere says he intends for Flahr to stick around, so it’s not impossible he hangs around with the Flyers until/if Chuck Fletcher gets picked up by another team. He’s worked fairly closely with Briere over the last year, so maybe he hitches his wagon to the up-and-comer rather than following Fletcher’s dumbass around like a lost pupy.
The Special Assistant to the GM was elevated to the interim GM role upon Fletcher’s firing. It seems likely he ultimately becomes the full-time GM sooner or later, but even if the off chance he doesn’t, the Flyers aren’t going to give up his services any time soon. Ready or not, he’s going to play a big role in the new front office.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)