Chuck Fletcher fired as Philadelphia Flyers GM

Chuck Fletcher
FILE – Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher pauses while speaking during a news conference at the team’s NHL hockey practice facility in Voorhees, N.J., on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. The Philadelphia Flyers have fired general manager Chuck Fletcher and promoted former franchise great Danny Briere to the interim job, according to a person familiar with the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Friday, March 10, 2023, because the move had not officially been announced. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

The dominos are beginning to fall.

Chuck Fletcher is relieved of his duties as the Philadelphia Flyers general manager. Daniel Briere will take his place in the interim.

Fletcher spent just about four seasons with the organization. He became the general manager of the club in 2018-2019, relieving Ron Hextall of his duties. The Flyers were contenders in 2019-2020, heading into an NHL postseason at the start of the COVID outbreak. Since the 2020-2021 season, it’s all been a steady decline that saw the departure of veteran leadership, critical draft capital, cap space, organizational direction, and high-end talent.

“The Philadelphia Flyers organization has always been defined by grit, determination, and a standard of excellence. Over the past several seasons, our team has simply not lived up to that standard. Today, we will begin to chart a new path forward under a new leadership structure for Hockey Operations.”

Dave Scott; 3/10/2023

John Tortorella helped bring grit and determination back to the lineup, and it shows on the ice. Last night, Philadelphia stood up to the Carolina Hurricanes on the road in another close battle. A ‘standard of excellence’ is where there’s a lot of room for improvement. A once proud hockey club became background fodder league-wide, combined with a soul-draining approval rating.

“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.”

Dave Scott; 3/10/2023

Fletcher headed an ‘aggressive retool’ as a plan to piece together a team to make a postseason push following the abysmal 2021-2022 season. He pivoted to ‘roster stabilization’ after failing to sign Johnny Gaudreau, an interested superstar who wanted to play for the Flyers. Instead, more valuable draft picks were traded to the Hurricanes for Tony DeAngelo while signing Nicolas Deslauriers and Justin Braun. During the season, a week before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, Fletcher stated Philadelphia were ‘sellers,’ but failed to move James van Riemsdyk for a single draft pick. It was later reported by Frank Seravalli that Fletcher overcooked the trade market, looking for a second and a third round pick.

Fletcher did a lot to kill the Flyers momentum toward a rebuild, which could be why the word was avoided. The same patterns were repeating from his tenure with the Minnesota Wild. Ahead of the 2021-2022 season, Fletcher paid a first and second round pick along with Robert Hagg for Rasmus Ristolainen after sending a second and seventh round pick to the Arizona Coyotes to take Shayne Gostisbehere. Tortorella is squeezing the most out of Ristolainen in the defensive zone in 2022-2023, but Gostisbehere was successfully traded by the Coyotes to Carolina for a third-round pick.

“He [Briere] will ensure a smooth transition following Chuck’s departure and support the team and coach John Tortorella through the remainder of the season and into the offseason.”

Dave Scott; 3/10/2023

Briere will occupy both the general manager and president of hockey operations roles, per Scott. In 2021, Briere ranked highly on the list to become the new general manager for his former team, the Montreal Canadiens.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)