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NHL: Flyers fired Chuck Fletcher and named Daniel Brière interim general manager

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Flyers have fired general manager Chuck Fletcher and given the job on an interim basis to Quebecer Daniel Brière, a former star of the team.

The firing of Fletcher, who was also president of hockey operations, comes a week after he was unable to complete a major transaction by the trade deadline last Friday.

During Fletcher’s four-and-a-half-year reign, the Flyers reached the playoffs only once, in 2019-20.

Led by John Tortorella, in his first season at the helm of the team, the Flyers are 24-30-11 for a total of 59 points. They sit eighth in the overall Eastern Conference standings, 15 points from last place to qualify for the playoffs.

They’ve suffered losses in their last two games, including a 1-0 loss Thursday night to the Carolina Hurricanes. They will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

“The Philadelphia Flyers organization has always been recognized for its fighting spirit, determination and standard of excellence. Over the past few seasons, our team just hasn’t reached that standard. So today we’re going to start charting a new course for the future, with a new leadership structure for hockey operations,” Flyers Chairman Dave Scott said.

Brière helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the last time in their history in 2010, when they lost their flag to the Chicago Blackhawks.

He is considered a rising star among the hockey staff and was promoted from his role focused on player development to special assistant to the general manager last year.

Born in Gatineau and 45 years old, Brière played for six seasons with the Flyers, between 2007 and 2013. In 364 games with the Flyers, he scored 124 goals and totaled 283 points. He notably had campaigns of 31 goals in 2007-2008 and 34 goals in 2010-2011.

In the 2010 spring playoffs, he finished first among all NHL scorers with 30 points, including 12 goals in 23 games.

Briere didn’t know how he wanted to stay involved in hockey once he retired in 2015 after 17 NHL seasons with 307 goals and 696 points in 973 games.

He met briefly with Paul Holmgren, the former Flyers general manager who signed Brière as a free agent in July 2007, and Holmgren invited him to spend time on the administrative side of operations.

Brière learned the basics of the trade from A to Z – marketing, ticket sales, social media, finances. He got a boost in 2017 when the Flyers’ parent company bought an ECHL team in Maine. Brière largely supervised the day-to-day operations of the team.

Scott said the Flyers are considering a restructuring at the executive level, and that will begin with separating the positions of general manager and president of hockey operations into two distinct roles.

“For us, this is a crucial opportunity to not only restore the standard of excellence that our supporters have come to expect, but also to bring new energy, responsibility and strategic vision to our organization,” explained Scott.

The Flyers have won two Stanley Cups in their history, in 1974 and 1975. Since their appearance in the Finals in 2010, they have reached the second round of the playoffs only three times.

“Flyers fans deserve a better team than they’ve seen on the ice in recent seasons, and a definite plan to become Stanley Cup contenders again,” Scott said.

“We know this is going to be a multi-year process, and we’re committed to getting this right, because we want to start this franchise on the road to winning the Stanley Cup, period.” , he added.

In 2021, Fletcher risked it all with a series of maneuvers that didn’t really pay off. His trade for defenseman Ryan Ellis and the signing of forward Cam Atkinson through the free agent market failed to produce anything due to injuries. The same scenario repeated itself after lucrative contract extensions for Joel Farabee and Sean Couturier.

Scott pointed this out, noting that Fletcher had faced significant challenges “including some beyond his control.”

“But we’ve reached a point where we have to go in a different direction and look to the future with new leadership,” Scott explained.

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