New Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher has already begun to surround himself with familiar faces, hiring Rick Wilson to serve as an assistant coach while the team evaluates their future. Now he’ll have another trusted advisor in the front office with him, as the team has hired Brent Flahr as vice president and assistant GM. Flahr served in the same role for Fletcher in Minnesota, and will be allowed out of the final year of his current contract with the Wild. Philadelphia had a vacancy in the front office after firing AGM Chris Pryor recently.
Just yesterday it was reported that the Flyers are looking to make some trades, and with Flahr on board Fletcher can really get to work. Hiring an assistant GM to start handling the team’s draft prep was obviously a need, and Flahr handled those duties in Minnesota for the last several seasons. If the Flyers are headed into a short rebuilding phase—something that is by no means clear at this point—they’ll need him to continue to find future talents to help them down the road. Fletcher explained as much in his statement released on the hiring:
Brent brings over 20 years of experience in the National Hockey League and an extraordinary amount of knowledge to our hockey club. I’ve known Brent for many years and his track record speaks for itself as a scout, assistant general manager and even general manager of an AHL team. His expertise of building and growing a strong foundation will be extremely valuable at all levels as we look to take the next step in our path toward winning a championship.
The Flyers are arguably the most interesting team in the league to watch as the holiday trade freeze approaches, given their appetite for change and solid talent levels in the NHL and minor leagues. Already one of the most well-stocked prospect cupboards around, the team could very well sell off their veteran assets in order to give younger players even more opportunity. Alternatively, they could pull from their future assets to help the 2018-19 team compete for the playoffs, something that is still within reach given the struggles of the Metropolitan division.