Flyers’ GM Fletcher 2021-2022 Exit Interview

Flyers' Chuck Fletcher
24 June 2011: Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Philadelphia Flyers finished their season at the Wells Fargo Center, losing to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2. Next, the players met one last time with the media on Break Up Day.

Four days removed from the conclusion of the 2021-2022 campaign, Chuck Fletcher addressed the media. There were many topics to discuss, ranging from ongoing issues throughout the season, a coaching search, the franchise’s direction, and some of the remarks from the players in their exit interviews. Did Fletcher improve his standing since his last address with Dave Scott?

Let’s take a few minutes to debrief the final address for 2021-2022 from the Philadelphia Flyers general manager.

Yeo Not Flyers Future HC

Last night, Kevin Weekes announced the breaking news. Today, Fletcher confirmed it. Mike Yeo will not be the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2022-2023. He has the opportunity to interview for a head coaching job elsewhere. Over the next few weeks, don’t be surprised if Yeo remains within the Flyers organization.

“We dealt Mike a really tough hand.”

Chuck Fletcher; 5/3/2022

In a concept, 2021-2022 was Murphy’s Law. The best coach wouldn’t compete for a playoff spot with this roster. Under Yeo’s guidance, however, the youth movement was thriving while involved in the lineup.

Coaching Search

Alain Vigneault was fired back in early December 2021. Nearly halfway through 2022, the Philadelphia Flyers haven’t begun their coaching search. Fletcher is just starting to put together a profile of what they’re looking for in a head coach. Some would call that six months of lost time. The next head coach is the most critical hire heading into 2022-2023; letting a half of a year elapse before piecing a profile of candidates is borderline negligence.

“We’re going to get together tomorrow with our hockey operations group, and the first thing we’re going to do is put together an ideal candidate profile. We’re going to really go through a thorough discussion of what we’re trying to achieve, what we’re looking at. At this stage, all options are open; we’re just starting the process.”

Chuck Fletcher; 5/3/2022

There is a prime candidate if the Flyers choose a more progressive style. I’m talking about Rikard Grönborg.

“Aggressive Retool” or “Aggressive Rebuild”

Finally, it’s settled. Fletcher admitted that his take on an “aggressive retool” features a rebuild mindset. His plan is a mixture of both, in fact. It doesn’t matter if it is prospects or via trade; the aim is to compete for a playoff berth in 2022-2023.

“An aggressive retool to me is being aggressive in every area. We have to get younger, we have to get more talented, we have to get faster.”

Chuck Fletcher; 5/3/2022

More than ever, Fletcher has assets at his fingertips. Yeo discovered valuable depth. They’ll continue to contribute, becoming homegrown products with the Philadelphia Flyers, or Fletcher could use them as bargaining chips. It’s common knowledge that the Flyers want high-end talent. They’ll need to make aggressive moves, retool or rebuild, to make a splash with limited cap space.

“I do think we have some young players with high-end upside that are currently with us and still continue to get better.”

Chuck Fletcher; 5/3/2022

Personnel Notes

Ivan Fedotov

I’ve asked often about Fedotov towards the end of 2021-2022. Fletcher expects to sign him soon. Right now, the war between Russian and the Ukraine complicates bringing Fedotov to Philadelphia. The expectation is that he will compete for a backup role to Carter Hart in 2022-2023. Expect a spotlight on a camp battle between Fedotov and Felix Sandstrom.

Ivan Provorov

He was spicy on Saturday, letting us know his disdain for the media. Where it matters, the locker room, Fletcher was the first to educate that Provorov isn’t a polarizing figure. The stress is to get him the right partner, which we all suspect is a healthy Ryan Ellis.

“We respect and appreciate what he does. He plays close to twenty-five minutes a night. He’s fearless and has a big shot.”

Chuck Fletcher; 5/3/2022

Ryan Ellis

If this plan pans out, the Philadelphia Flyers defense could heal itself. Without question, problems on defense stemmed from the unavailability of Ellis. Once the paradigm shifted on the right, the defensive alignment never recovered. Fletcher provides an uplifting update regarding Ellis. After this season, we’ll all believe it when we see it.

“This is the best I’ve felt about this in a while. It’s basically multiple injuries. There’s no clean, easy, one-step solution to the problem. I think we have a plan in place now. It’s an aggressive plan, but it has great upside.”

Chuck Fletcher; 5/3/2022

Samuel Morin

His career if finished. Throughout his time in the NHL, Morin routinely battled knee injuries. With the exception of 2020-2021, he didn’t receive much of a chance with the Philadelphia Flyers because of his struggling health. My favorite moment of his career was the game-winner against the New York Rangers. Fletcher noted that he would try to find a place for Morin within the organization.

(Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon Sportswire)