Remember when Rangers fans took over the Wells Fargo Center a few days ago, and the Flyers organization seemed to be in shambles?
Well, they made a move Friday morning that made them look a little better.
Giana Han of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Flyers have decided to part ways with Chuck Fletcher. Danny Briere, former Flyer and current special assistant to the general manager will take over as interim GM.
Fletcher was hired in December 2018 and oversaw one bubble-style playoff run, two coaching searches, a last-place finish in the Metropolitan Division last season, and whatever in the world this season is.
Comcast Spectacor chairman and Flyers governor Dave Scott released the following statement Friday morning:
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization has always been defined by grit, determination, and a standard of excellence. Over the past several seasons, our team simply has not lived up to that standard, so today, we will begin to chart a new path forward under a new leadership structure for hockey operations.
“This morning, we released Chuck Fletcher from his president and general manager responsibilities. We are grateful for his hard work and dedication to this organization, and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward. Chuck faced significant challenges during his time as president and general manager, including some that were outside of his control, but we have reached a point at which we must move in a different direction and look to the future under new leadership.
“Flyers fans deserve a better team than what they’ve seen on the ice over the past few seasons, and a clear plan to return this team to Stanley Cup contention. We know that this will be a multi-year process, and we are committed to doing it right, because we want to put this franchise on a path toward winning the Stanley Cup, period.”
The firing comes just one week after Fletcher failed to trade James van Riemsdyk’s expiring contract at the trade deadline.
Leading up to the trading period, Fletcher said the Flyers were selling and “willing to listen on just about anything if it makes sense.” They ended up moving out two role players on expiring contracts.
“I’m not worried about my job, whatever happens with me will happen with me. That’s up to Dave Scott,” Fletcher said after the deadline. “But everything I do is about doing what’s right for the Philadelphia Flyers and not taking shortcuts, and that’s in part why we didn’t make any more deals today. The deals that were presented to me were not good deals for the Philadelphia Flyers.”
It seems like an odd time to make this move. After the deadline, a general manager really does not do much. So why fire Fletcher now, make Briere sit at the helm for a month or two, and let the team rot even more than it already has? I think the answer is relevance.
The Flyers will now begin the process of filling two positions in the president of hockey operations and GM.