One week after Chuck Fletcher‘s latest blunder in the GM chair, the Flyers finally decided enough was enough. Fletcher is out as GM and President of Hockey Operations, officially announced by the team on Friday morning.
Fletcher, who was hired on Dec 3, 2018, oversaw parts of the last five seasons of the Flyers. Danny Briere, who was named a special assistant to the GM last season, will be named the interim GM.
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization has always been defined by grit, determination, and a standard of excellence,” Flyers Governor Dave Scott said in the team’s official statement. “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.
Change seemed inevitable at various points in Fletcher’s tenure in recent years. Fletcher made multiple moves in the offseason leading to the 2021-22 season in an attempt to maximize the final year of Claude Giroux‘s contract and ice a competitive team. In that season, the Flyers fired their head coach by early December and Fletcher remained to oversee the deadline.
Fletcher again remained for an underwhelming offseason that saw him dish out more long-term contracts and fail to acquire a high-end talent that, while maybe not saving the on-ice product the Flyers would be, would have certainly generated more fan interest. He then got to oversee another trade deadline just last week.
As for Briere, this move is only temporary for now, but it is believed he will be a serious candidate to remain as the team’s GM moving forward. Part of the new leadership structure, according to Scott’s statement, will be separating the GM and President of Hockey Operations roles.
“In the coming days, we will begin the process of re-structuring our Hockey Operations Department by separating the President and General Manager positions. We view this as a critical opportunity to not only re-establish the standard of excellence that our fans expect, but also to bring new energy, accountability, and strategic vision to our organization. “As Interim General Manager, Danny Briere will oversee Hockey Operations. He is ideally suited for this role, having served as Special Assistant to the General Manager of the Flyers for the past year in addition to his more than 25 years in professional hockey as a player and in management. He will ensure a smooth transition following Chuck’s departure and support the team and Head Coach John Tortorella through the remainder of the season and into the offseason.”
There will more to come on this story later.