Chuck Fletcher has been removed as president of operations and as general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. You will be hard pressed to find a teary fan of the Flyers about this. Fans (including me) were calling for his head last year after failing to sign any good free agents and failing to improve the team; save for the hiring of John Tortorella as new coach.
His drafts have been suspect, at best, he has made questionable signings and deals (or lack of them), and has shown so much incompetence, that some have suggested that even a baby or monkey could do a better job. And while I think Danny Briere will be fine, I gotta agree that a monkey could do just as well as Fletcher has the last few seasons.
However, if we can take our fandom and our emotions out of the equation, there is probably a lot more to the story. For example, rumors swirled a lot last year about Fletcher trying to move James van Riemsdyk but was met with scorn by other GMs. The only way they’d have taken him as salary cap relieve would be if we coughed up a first rounder or more; in a haunting repeat of the Gostisbehere trade. His hands were tied because of his incompetence.
But that’s not all that tied his hands. His predecessor, Ron Hextall, has a lot to do with the state of the Flyers right now. While Hexy, the general manager from May 2014 to December 2018, was a bit bolder in his moves, a lot of them have seriously hampered this team. Let’s take a look at what Hextall has done to this team.
First of all, Hextall was following in the legacy of his predecessors Paul Holmgren and Bobby Clarke. Both were known for doling out big contracts and putting this team so dangerously close to the salary cap as possible (Andrew MacDonald anyone?). Hextall did the same and Fletcher followed that. But when he came here, he came with a good pedigree as assistant GM in Los Angeles, which had just won two Stanley Cups. Surely he could do that here, right?