Flyers’ Briere shedding ‘interim’ GM label is inevitable

Flyers' Daniel Briere
FILE – Danny Briere speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Voorhees, N.J. 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 Rourke, File)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

On March 10th, Chuck Fletcher ceased as the President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. Daniel Briere fulfilled the rest of the season as the interim GM.

Currently, Briere is not the official GM of the Flyers. He will likely take the responsibility, separate from the President of Hockey Operations role. John Tortorella spent time with Briere at the end of the season, allowing the assistant coaches to serve as the bench boss for a handful of games. The head coach and interim GM were piecing together a plan ahead of the offseason.

The interim tag seems like a formality.

Working with the coaching staff, Briere is concerned with constructing a lineup that fits the brand of hockey Tortorella installed. Discussions will be fluid with the coaching staff because they work closest with the players; Briere auditioned a more personal approach. A team of advisors, including Briere and Tortorella, are interested in making decisions that help the Flyers reach relevancy; no more band-aids. Briere admitted the rebuild philosophy began with him without any hesitation, and the franchise is on his page. “Mr. Playoffs” earned that name in Philadelphia, but Briere is also well-traveled in the NHL, playing with five teams, taking inspiration from how other clubs rebuild:

“My opinion comes from years of playing and looking at how organizations are being built. [In] having a chance to have been out there; having played the game and understanding how a locker room works are things I’m going to try to use. There’s other areas that I’m going to need help with when it comes to scouting, analytics, and stuff like that. That’s where we have a lot of good people around to help us.”

Daniel Briere; 4/17/2023

One of the first moves as the interim GM of the Flyers featured Briere offering Emil Andrae to an ATO, leading to an entry-level contract. Andrae, a promising defensive prospect, played three AHL postseason contests, losing the series 2-1 to the Charlotte Checkers. Following a season of defensive struggles in the NHL, Andrae could make a late-season debut as a recalled prospect in 2023-2024.

In the front office and behind the bench, the Flyers are on board with giving every chance to prospects to propel themselves into the NHL, tapping into the high potential of young skaters often. There is a lot to like about the farm system, and if the damage from Fletcher is corrected, the lineup could be competitive sooner than anyone expects.

“How fast or how long it’s going to take; the players will dictate that. Everybody’s on board. Everybody agrees that we need to do this the right way. We’ve said it. Torts has said it many times. We might need a little bit of patience from the fans in that regard. It might be some growing pains to go through, but when you look at how some of our young players got better this year, that was really impressive and exciting for the future.”

Daniel Briere; 4/17/2023

Like us, Briere reads the rumor mill about all the candidates likely to join him as the President of Hockey Operations for the Flyers. He continues to prepare for the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft, relying on the judgment of the scouts for input on a “critical pick for the organization moving forward.” The only constant entering the offseason is the work Briere is putting in with the rest of the brass in the organization.

All signs point to Briere becoming the official GM of the Flyers, likely before the 2023 NHL Entry Draft on June 28th and 29th.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)