It's been just over 48 hours since the Flyers fired Ron Hextall and the pursuit for a new GM started. Several names have been mentioned, but one has emerged as a clear frontrunner.
Chuck Fletcher, the former GM of the Minnesota Wild and currently a senior advisor with the New Jersey Devils, is atop the list. The Devils granted the Flyers permission to speak with Fletcher regarding the open GM position on Wednesday, according to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie. Darren Dreger reported on Monday that Fletcher was a name highly regarded on the Flyers list and was considered a frontrunner for the job.
In addition, Dave Isaac of the Courier Post reported that the Flyers have spoken to Fletcher specifically, and The Athletic's Michael Russo reported that the Flyers were already doing their due diligence on Fletcher, contacting people in the Minnesota Wild organization.
Fletcher was the Wild GM from 2009 to 2018. During that time, Minnesota had a 359-265-80 in 704 games. The Wild missed the playoffs in the first three seasons with Fletcher as GM, but made the playoffs in the next six seasons. They were eliminated in the first round four times and the second round twice.
Prior to being the GM in Minnesota, Fletcher spent three years as the assistant GM to Ray Shero with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2006 to 2009. From 2002 to 2006, Fletcher held multiple roles with the Anaheim Ducks, including assistant GM, director of hockey operations and vice president of amateur scouting and player development. Fletcher was also an assistant GM with the Florida Panthers from their expansion year in 1993 to 2002.
Prior to entering the executive side of hockey, Fletcher worked as a sports agent for two years. He is a graduate of Harvard. Chuck Fletcher is the son of Cliff Fletcher, an inductee of the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder category in 2004. Cliff Fletcher served as the GM of the Atlanta Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Phoenix Coyotes in his long career and currently is a senior advisor for the Maple Leafs.
Outside of Fletcher, names like Steve Yzerman, Ron Francis and Steve Greeley have all been mentioned, but there has been no formal contact from the Flyers with any of them, nor has there been any reports of interest from the potential candidates. Holmgren already stated that Dean Lombardi has no interest in the job and it was reported that former Flyer Chris Pronger was not being considered.
Paul Holmgren said the GM search would likely be completed in weeks, not months, so it seems like the Flyers will fast-track this to some extent to find the right man for the job as soon as possible.