PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Flyers have found their man. Former Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has been named the Flyers’ GM.
The decision comes a week after Ron Hextall was relieved of his post after five seasons running the team.
Fletcher, 51, served as the Wild’s leader from 2009 until last April when he was fired. He will be the ninth GM in Flyers’ history.
During that span, Fletcher built the Wild to a perennial playoff team, reaching the playoffs in each of the last six seasons.
However, the Wild never advanced past the second round during his tenure.
“At the conclusion of a rigorous review of GM candidates, Chuck Fletcher clearly stood out from the field of talented and capable executives we considered,” said Comcast Spectator Chairman and CEO Dave Scott. “Chuck has earned success throughout his impressive NHL career and offers the right mix of expertise, business acumen and leadership qualities that the Flyers need today as we work to achieve our ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup Championship.”
When the Flyers fired Hextall, President Paul Holmgren and Scott made it clear they grew tired of his lengthy rebuild and patient approach.
“For me, I sort of boil it down to one question,” Scott said during a press conference last week. “Do I think that we can do better as a team now? Not two years or three years from now, but now.”
In Hextall’s five years with the Flyers, the team made the playoffs just twice, losing in the first round each time.
At the time of Hextall’s dismissal, the organization said the two sides “no longer share the same philosophical approach concerning the direction of the team.”
With that in mind, the Flyers sought out a more active GM, and Fletcher fits that bill.
While with the Wild, Fletcher signed pricey free agents Zac Parise and Ryan Suter to massive deals, while also acquiring a franchise goalie in Devan Dubnyk.
Fletcher’s track record has shown he’s not afraid to make a big splash, something Hextall was reluctant to do, and what ultimately led to his dismissal.
“It is an honor to join the Flyers, an iconic NHL franchise, and I would like to thank Dave Scott and Paul Holmgren for entrusting me to guide the team forward,” said Fletcher. “Adding to my excitement is the high level of talent that is in place, which sets this opportunity apart and will pay dividends as we move the organization ahead and ultimately compete for a Championship.”
The Flyers’ brass has said the new general manager will decide whether to keep the current coaching staff — including Dave Hakstol — on board or not.