A whirlwind of names circulated the rumor mill about who will become the Philadelphia Flyers’ President of Hockey Operations, but now we have our answer.
Joining forces with Daniel Briere, Keith Jones accepted the role. He was a finalist for the position with Eddie Olczyk. Jones, Briere, and John Tortorella set their scope on the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
“To be able to lead this team back to the winning tradition that everyone knows it can, and should be, is a true honor and one that I do not take lightly. I consider the Philadelphia Flyers organization the gold standard of the NHL and professional sports. I’ve seen how this city and these fans can rally around their team and there is nothing that compares to that feeling. With this leadership group in place, I am beyond excited and fully confident that we are on the right path and the results will come.”Keith Jones; 5/11/2023
During the 2022-2023 season, Jones was the lead analyst on NBC Sports Philadelphia during Flyers telecasts. In a deleted tweet, Chris Therien broke the news.
Previously, Jones played with the Flyers from 1998-2001, finishing his career in Philadelphia. Playing nine seasons, Jones started in 131 games on Broad Street, scoring 74 points (27G, 47A) with a +32 rating. Away from his longest-tenured team, the Washington Capitals, his best run in the NHL took place in South Philadelphia. He doesn’t have any prior experience working in an NHL front office.
Formerly, Chuck Fletcher was the President of Hockey Operations and GM. Uprooting Fletcher came with a new perspective; a rebuild. That means the front office. A new philosophy is required. Jones is an incredible communicator, and it might work in favor of the Flyers between the front office, player personnel, and throughout the rest of the NHL.
The rebuild, for the Flyers, comes at one of the lowest points in franchise history. A postseason roadmap doesn’t include Philadelphia for the third season in a row. The longest drought in franchise history is five seasons, 1990-1994.
A new front office philosophy will ride heavily on Briere. He has more front-office experience than Jones as an interim GM, set to drop that title when this announcement is made.
Jones can assist with his vast number of contacts across the NHL. It’ll help Briere gain some trust around the league as GM. Briere will carry the contract and trade negotiations workload without any experienced NHL front office insight, except for the former advisors from the Fletcher administration. At the end of another interview process for a critical role with the Flyers, more qualified candidates were available, but the hire remained familiar.
Tortorella, the oldest of the new brain trust, is the only outside hire.
Briere, Jones, and Tortorella could work well, and it’s important to enter the rebuild with open expectations. The NHL is evolving rapidly while the Flyers are stuck in the quicksand of the Metropolitan Division. Briere is executing the rebuild. Jones serves as a bridge of communication between Comcast Spectacor and business partnerships while overseeing Briere and Tortorella. Together, this trio is articulating a rebuild plan, keeping with the trend of transparency and accountability.
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)