Flyers Governor and Spectacor chairman Dave Scott is retiring, and it represents an opportunity for Danny Briere to save the franchise. For the first time since Ed Snider’s death, the team has a chance to disengage from the Comcastic culture that has consumed the franchise and to establish a new (or old) identity for the Flyers.
Scott was loyal to Mr. Snider despite being a 30 year comcast man. I imagine Scott was the guy Snider wanted to act in his abscence as the barrier between Comcast corporate and the Flyers’ hockey operations. However, it was pretty evident that Scott was more of an infection than a fire wall for Comcast corporate initatives. Maybe Scott had so mismanged the team, that the only way to make sure the Comcast corporate dollars kept rolling in was to bend to the corporate overlords. But, for now, at least, that is over.
Scott will be replaced by Daniel Hilferty, who has had an impressive record of accomplishment, including being the CEO of Independence Blue Cross. He was instrumental in landing the FIFA World Cup in Philly in 2026. FIFA and the IOC are the most corrupt bunch of slime in the sporting world. They are what Comcast corporatists want to be when they grow up. The person that can land the World Cup in a second tier city, third tier if we are just talking soccer, while fencing with the FIFA sharks can lead my castle onslaught anytime.
Hilferty has enough game to keep the Comcast corporate buzzards at bay, and can give Briere enough room to really do work. This is as close to a blank slate as Briere could have hoped for. I am confident he can take the team in any direction he wishes and Hilferty will be able to provide cover and resources for him to do it. At least for a couple of seasons. The question is, will Briere be bold?
If we look at it realisitically, this team is three years away from contending for a playoff spot. The Sanheim, Ristolainen, and Couturier contracts are not going anywhere for at least three seasons and the prospect pipe line is not over flowing. There are pieces to trade, though Comcast, and the media, has done its best to destroy Provorov’s and DeAngelo’s reputations. But moving those players would signal a full on burn and rebuild. That would be a tough conversation to have in general, but with Hilferty running cover, this is the easiest that conversation would ever be.
Keep in mind, the reason why Risto and Sanheim were extended was to avoid waving the white flag, even though both moves will kill the team for years. It was Comcast face saving at its worst. Take something that was a mistake, and make it bigger and last longer. There is a lesson in this for the Flyers GM: know when to cut your losses.
I have my doubts about Briere as a GM especially given the mess he is walking into. But Briere has made drastic changes as a player, changing from a potential first round bust into a guy who played almost 1,100 NHL games. We will see if Mr. Briere will take a daring move, to shift focus completely, or continue to follow the path of Comcast milaise, or something else entirely. With Hilferty now in place Briere will have the freedom to choose.