The Flyers are reportedly close to finding their new President of Hockey Operations. And the two names are familiar to those in the organization and fans outside of it as well. Current NBC Sports Philadelphia color commentator Keith Jones and Eddie Olczyk are the reported finalists for the job. Both also provide coverage on TNT as well.
Frank Seravalli recently reported the news, saying the decision could be made sometime this week. The Flyers also interviewed names such as John Chyka, Scott Mellanby, Chris Pronger and Doug Wilson.
Chuck Fletcher was fired as the GM back in March as Danny Briere took over as the interim GM for the rest of the season. He is expected to have the interim tag taken off before next season.
Fletcher had also been the President of Hockey Operations as the team has decided to make the two positions separate in order to give Briere someone to work with that has more experience. Briere will likely handle the day to day operations as the GM while the President of Hockey Ops will focus more on the behind the scenes stuff.
Other changes included Dave Scott announcing that he would be stepping down in April as Dan Hilferty would be take over as Chairman and Governor of the Flyers.
Jones spent nine years playing in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, and Philadelphia Flyers. He spent his final three years with the latter. After his final season in 2000-01, Jones would later work as an analyst beginning in 2005 as a part of the NHL on NBC. He would also join the Flyers broadcast team alongside Jim Jackson prior to the 2006-07 season.
In 2021, he joined TNT/TBS as their “Inside the Glass” reporter. He became a part of the broadcasting team that included Olczyk and Kenny Albert.
Despite the Flyers being reported as wanting someone with experience in a front office, hiring Jones would go against that. He has not held a position for any hockey team aside from his experience as a player. But he is well known to the organization and could provide a strong communication between the fanbase and the team.
Considering John Tortorella was a part of ESPN hockey coverage before he was hired as head coach, it seems the Flyers are not afraid to look to the media side for their next hire as well.
If they look toward Olczyk, he at least has some experience aside from the media side. It was brief, however. He was the Pittsburgh Penguins head coach from 2003-04 before being let go midway through the 2005-06 season.
Olczyk also played in the NHL for 16 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and Penguins.
After retiring, Olczyk returned to the Penguins to become their color commentator prior to moving behind the bench. He would later become the color commentator for the Blackhawks beginning in the 2005-06 season. He has also provided Olympic coverage for NBC and recently joined the Seattle Kraken’s broadcasting team.
Regardless of whomever the Flyers hire, the person who will be put in charge has a large task ahead of them. Philadelphia is entering a rebuild period and looks quite far away from becoming a contending team again. This is one of the hires that the Flyers need to be confident in.