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Jeff Marek tells us what we already know

You have to fire them all, folks.

2020 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Brian Born/NHLI via Getty Images

Don’t you feel good when you know you’re right about something? Feels good.

Yesterday, on his namesake show (available where ever you get your podcasts), Jeff Marek confirmed what we at Broad Street Hockey have been yelling (literally) about for years: that the problem with this team isn’t Chuck Fletcher. It isn’t Dave Scott or Comcast. It’s the Broad Street Bullies.

Here’s what Marek had to say:

...what are the more intriguing things for me is not so much ... what has Chuck Fletcher done or what hasn’t Chuck Fletcher done? I am really interested in who has influence on those decisions who isn’t Chuck Fletcher? Like there are a lot of very powerful ex-Philadelphia Flyer consultants on that team, whose opinion is still very much valued, and again I don’t think Chuck Fletcher is ever going to say that anyone else had a hand on the wheel except for him he’s very traditional general manager who will accept responsibility for all the decisions and accountability etc., you know he’s from a family of managers — and we think of legendary Cliff Fletcher — so I don’t think that he’ll ever say “oh I had to make this deal because Bill Barber, who is one of the main consultants there, insisted that we do it and he hand on the wheel or Bobby Clarke is behind this one”, but it is one of the the things I wonder about here. Like I know no general manager works with autonomy; what do we always hear about Matty? As a manager now in the NHL you need to be able to manage upwards. You need to be able to manage the people above you, that is a new skill that managers need to have, like once upon a time in the Sam Pollock era, the Bill Torrey era, the whatever era, managers would essentially see the people above them at Christmas and at the end of the season and that was it. And other than that they had budget they had their money and they had full autonomy over making moves. Now, it’s not just — like you always want to — we talked to Bill Guerin about this Elliotte and I a couple weeks ago and put out a podcast, um we talked about his relationship with Craig Leopold, the owner of the Minnesota Wild, and there are a lot of managers and Bill’s one of them, who always tell their owner, no surprises. I’ll keep you in the loop. You will not be surprised by anything that I want to do and specifically — Doug Maclean would always talk about this, when we work with Doug, about how he would always keep Mr. McConnell aware of — not the day-to-day minutia of tiny things, like people that own hockey teams are really busy, they don’t need to know if, you know, you’re swapping out 4th line wingers, they don’t need stuff like that, but when you’re big moves or making big decisions you better keep your owner or the people above you informed. Where you get in trouble is when you pull yourself off from everybody else in the organization and just start to make moves in a vacuum, that’s usually the prelude for a team getting a new manager. But I wonder about here with Chuck Fletcher is, is he making all of these moves just on his own? Are all these contracts — and I’m sure he’ll be the first to stand up and say nope I take responsibility these are mine — are all the signings really his? See, I don’t know the answer to that all I do know is there are a lot of powerful consults, that are ex-NHLers, and many of whom have been general managers in the NHL, still around the Philadelphia Flyers organization. And to that end, I always say to people who talk about, “oh get rid of Chuck Fletcher and all the problems are solved.” I think that just satisfies angry Philadelphia Flyers fans. I don’t think that goes at the root cause of what might be at the heart of what’s happening with Philadelphia. Again, I don’t know the answer. But it is one of the things I wonder about. And the whispers have been out there. Was that really Chuck Fletcher’s decision? Is that really a Chuck Fletcher contract? Is that really a Chuck Fletcher trade? Now I know a lot of angry Flyers fans won’t like hearing that because they wanna keep it really simple and Chuck Fletcher right now represents, in their minds, everything that is wrong about the Philadelphia Flyers and if they get rid of Chuck Fletcher, all the problems will be solved. I think that’s too simple.


We are being overly simplistic by saying if they get rid of Chuck Fletcher, do what the fans want — we saw the town hall last week and the boos and all of it... Listen, Chuck Fletcher knows he’s signing up for when he takes a job so you can’t feel sorry for him, and Chuck Fletcher wouldn’t want you to feel sorry for him. I just don’t know that it’s as simple as “you get rid of Chuck Fletcher and you solve all the problems.” I think it’s a lot more complicated than that I think any team is a lot more complicated than that.

Jeff’s producer Matt then chimes in:

I agree with with a bunch of that. Here’s two things that I’ll say: the Philadelphia Flyers are unlike a lot of other organizations in that there — you know like you said — former players that were also GMs that have been involved, maybe they were coaches, have a lot of influence in that organization, whereas I don’t see that a lot in other organizations. Like you can correct me if I’m wrong, but the Philadelphia Flyers seem very very unique in that respect. And the other thing is, you talked about “is that a Chuck Fletcher signing? Is that a Chuck Fletcher trade?” the first thing that when you said that that came to mind was the reason why they didn’t sign Johnny Gaudreau, potentially, because he is not a quote unquote, Philadelphia Flyer. He’s not big he’s not nasty and he just doesn’t fit that role even though he’s one of the most skilled offensive players in the league and God knows the Philadelphia Flyers can use something like that. That’s the first thing that when you said that screamed to me that that was something that maybe Chuck Fletcher wanted to do but could not do.

Marek went on to comment on the idea that Gaudreau didn’t fit the Flyers’ timeline and that’s ultimately why they didn’t sign him, but we’ve heard all of that before.

In fact, we’ve heard ALL OF THIS before. We’ve been screaming it for years. The Flyers aren’t cursed by Kate Smith. The Flyers are cursed by the Broad Street Bullies. And nothing will change, nothing will improve, until the organization cleanses itself completely. Stops chasing the past. Stops trying to relive old glories. And starts turning its focus to what wins Stanley Cups in 2023.