Flyers make staff changes to hockey operations department

Philadelphia Flyers (Ethan Grugan)
Philadelphia Flyers (Ethan Grugan) /

It’s the summer of change for the Flyers with their new general manager and president. There was bound to be more organizational changes after that. And the team did just that on Friday morning.

They made several significant changes to their hockey operations department. Before a few important promotions, the Flyers announced they relieved Mike O’Connell and John Riley and Kjell Samuelsson. O’Connell was the senior advisor to the GM and player development while Riley and Samuelsson were player development coaches.

O’Connell was hired by the Flyers prior to the 2021-22 season and came to the team with a wealth of knowledge. Riley had worked for the team during the last 15 seasons in both development and scouting. Samuelsson, having played for the team, was on the development staff during the last 10 years. Prior to that, he was a part of the Phantoms coaching staff.

With those departures, the Flyers promoted three of their current staff. As it had long been reported, Alyn McCauley was named the Assistant General Manager. Riley Armstrong was named Director of Player Development and Nick Schultz is now the Assistant Director of Player Development.

"“I’m excited to announce the promotions of Alyn, Riley and Nick,” said Briere in a release from the team. “These three have been around the organization for some time, in particularly, with our current prospects and young players, so I know they will each provide the direction and leadership that is necessary to get our future assets to the NHL level.”"

McCauley is entering his seventh year with the organization. He first came to the Flyers in 2017 and served as a pro scout from 2018-22. From there, he served as the Director of Player Personnel starting in February of 2022. As the Assistant GM, McCauley will oversee the pro scouting department and player personnel. He will also oversee the Phantoms hockey operations staff.

Armstrong is entering his third season with the Flyers, though it’ll be his sixth with Comcast Spectacor. He first joined during the 2018-19 season as the head coach of the ECHL Maine Mariners. He was promoted to assistant general manager of the team for the 2019-20 season as he worked alongside Briere.

Armstrong has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the Phantoms. His new role will be similar to what he was doing with Lehigh Valley already. He will be responsible for the development of the Flyers’ young prospects and helping them grow in the AHL.

Schultz is entering his fifth season with the Flyers. He was first hired as the team’s Player Development Coach in 2018 and served in that role for four years prior to this promotion. He will work alongside Armstrong and help with the development of those young players.

The Flyers have recently put a lot of focus onto the development of their players in the AHL. That is exactly why they wanted those players to be able to experience a long playoff run. It’s why a player like Tyson Foerster didn’t remain in the NHL despite showing that he belonged. It was more important for him to play in important games to further his growth.

With these promotions, the Flyers continue to stress the importance of what is going on with their AHL club.