Fletcher served as GM of the Minnesota Wild from 2009 until last April
Chuck Fletcher has been named the next general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, the team announced Monday evening. The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Sam Carchidi first reported the hire Monday morning.
OFFICIAL: Chuck Fletcher has been named Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. https://t.co/jBphjI2Vhx
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) December 3, 2018
Fletcher, 51, becomes the the eighth general manager in franchise history and the successor to Ron Hextall, who was fired by the club last week. Fletcher last served as GM of the Minnesota Wild from 2009 until last April, when he was fired by Minnesota. This year, he has been working with the New Jersey Devils as advisor under GM Ray Shero.
During his nine seasons in Minnesota, Fletcher was able to build a respectable club that saw modest success. His Wild were able to qualify for the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, but only advanced past the first round twice (in 2014 and 2015) but never made it out of the second round. He was fired by the Wild in April following a third-straight first-round exit.
Meanwhile, the Flyers haven’t advanced out of the second round of the playoffs since 2010, when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2012.
Fletcher will assume the job with the expectation of leading the Flyers to immediate success. The club fired Hextall, the former executive vice president and general manager, last week citing a philosophical disagreement regarding the direction of the team as the reason behind the termination. When the team’s senior executives took to the podium for a press conference addressing Hextall’s firing, it became quite clear that that philosophical disagreement had a lot to do with patience — in the sense that Hextall had too much of it.
Flyers leadership clearly didn’t believe that Hextall was proactive or aggressive enough in his short-term approach, while the higher-ups wanted more of a win-now approach. The team’s slow start to this season ended up costing Hextall the job that he held since 2014.
With that in mind, Fletcher will likely have to hit the ground running in Philly, and he may have some tough decisions to make. One of those decisions could involve head coach Dave Hakstol, who is seemingly on the hot seat behind the Flyers’ bench. The team’s senior executives said during last week’s press conference that Hextall wouldn’t consider firing Hakstol, but that his fate will lie in the hands of the next GM.
Through 25 games, the Flyers are 11-12-2 and sit second-to-last in the Metropolitan division, though they’re only five points out of a playoff spot.
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