The Philadelphia Flyers, for the first time since the late 1980’s, will have a general manager with no former ties to the organization. Chuck Fletcher, former GM for the Minnesota Wild has been named the team’s seventh GM in franchise history.
This should come as a shock to almost no one, as Fletcher appeared to be the frontrunner as soon as the hammer came down on Ron Hextall. Fletcher manned the position in Minnesota from 2009 up until his departure after last season. Before that, he was the assistant GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins for three years under Ray Shero.
This move, by all means, is not the “sexy” pick. The Flyers did not go out and find another Kyle Dubas. They found someone with a lot of experience at the position and someone who’s built very competent and capable hockey teams. Fletcher’s Wild teams may never have made it past round two of the playoffs, but they were consistently in or fighting for the playoffs. One can also make the argument a large reason for the Wild’s failures in the postseason, were primarily a result of facing the Blackhawks three consecutive years, in the middle of their dynasty.
Fletcher comes into Philadelphia with many decisions to make in a relatively short period of time. Does he make a trade for a goalie? Does he fire the coach and assistants right away? Does he try to improve the defense? All of these are going to be thrown at the feet of the GM, as the Flyers attempt to right the ship and make a legitimate run at the postseason.
For a breakdown of Fletcher’s moves and overall tenure as GM of the Wild, check out this article by Brad from last week.
More to come...