As the Stanley Cup Playoffs play through, the Philadelphia Flyers are experiencing the winds of change.
Although tagged with the ‘interim’ label, Daniel Briere will inevitably become the long-term General Manager of the Flyers. He will have a partner to serve as the President of Hockey Operations.
Chuck Fletcher served as GM and President of Hockey Operations in Philadelphia before the franchise prepared to move in a different direction. Now, a handful of names are circling the rumor mill as potential partners alongside Briere in one of the premier positions in the Flyers’ front office. Is there a prime candidate on the same page as Briere and John Tortorella regarding how to go about a rebuild?
Before the end of the week, Poulin may interview for the President of Hockey Operations role.
Poulin penned his thoughts about the Flyers accepting the rebuild process in the ‘Toronto Star.’ He stated that acknowledging the reality of the situation is a relief, determined to build from the new ‘footers’ of the foundation, as Tortorella previously worded it.
From 2009-2014, Poulin served as the Vice President of Hockey Operations with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In that window, the Maple Leafs made the postseason once, in the 2012-2013 shortened season. After Poulin, Dave Nonis remained the Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations until 2015.
Castonguay, currently an assistant GM of the Vancouver Canucks, interviewed with the Flyers. She fielded interest across the NHL.
It seems that she will remain with the Canucks, however.
The Flyers are receiving help from individuals who encouraged hiring Tortorella, namely Neil Glasberg. His representation includes the Canucks, which makes a case for a conflict of interest if Glasberg and The Coaches Agency help one of the executives in Vancouver land a role in Philadelphia.
Another important note about Castonguay is her ties to a pending discrimination case following the preseason dismissal of Rachel Doerrie as the “analyst and assistant to the video coach.”
Like Castonguay, Mellanby also interviewed with the Flyers. He is currently a senior advisor with the St. Louis Blues.
Mellanby, like Poulin, and a cast of other previous rumored names, has a relationship to the Philadelphia hockey of yesteryear.
For some, that is a red flag. Mellanby helped the Montreal Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs six times between 2012-2021, serving as the Director of Player Personnel and assistant GM. Before he became a senior advisor with the Blues, he resigned as the assistant GM of the Canadiens.
The Pittsburgh Penguins missed the playoffs and fired everyone. Shero could come back to Pennsylvania hockey, which includes the Flyers. His ongoing NHL management resume began in 1993, shared with five teams.
Shero is a senior advisor with the Minnesota Wild. He was the Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations with the Penguins from 2006-2014, making the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs each season and winning the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals.
A liaison between hockey and business ends, Shero built with the Penguins and, before his current position with the Wild, the New Jersey Devils from 2015-2020.
Another potential candidate for the President of Hockey Operations role in Philadelphia is Wilson.
Most of the candidates on this list have a former tie to the Flyers, but not Wilson. He spent his playing career with the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks. Then, he took a prominent role with the Sharks as the Director of Player Personnel, Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, and GM from 1997-2022.
Wilson resigned as GM of the Sharks in 2022 due to his health, but the great news is he could eye a return to the NHL. He was a success in San Jose, helping them make it to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals as the Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and GM.
Granato is an intriguing name for the Flyers’ front office overhaul, working alongside Castonguay. She is also an assistant GM with the Canucks.
The Seattle Kraken made her the first female NHL scout, staying from 2019-2022.
A groundbreaking hire, she would be revered as one of the lightest resumes with Castonguay. If the Flyers were to land Castonguay, there would be a push to bring Granato. Again, be careful to revisit the potential conflict of interest it could create between the Canucks, The Coaches Agency, and Philadelphia.
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)