Flyers fire Fletcher after tepid deadline moves

    Emily Kaplan is ESPN’s national NHL reporter.

The Philadelphia Flyers have fired general manager and president of hockey operations Chuck Fletcher, the team announced Friday.

“Over the past several seasons, our team simply has not lived up to that standard, so today, we will begin to chart a new path forward under a new leadership structure for Hockey Operations,” Flyers governor Dave Scott said in a statement. “This morning, we released Chuck Fletcher from his president and general manager responsibilities. We are grateful for his hard work and dedication to this organization, and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Daniel Briere will serve as the interim general manager as the team looks to fill the GM and president of hockey operations roles separately. Briere, a former Flyers forward who had been serving as a special assistant to the general manager, will be considered for the full-time role.

Fletcher’s firing comes a week after the NHL trade deadline, which was underwhelming for the Flyers. Fletcher was not able to trade several players Philadelphia had been trying to move, including pending unrestricted free agent James van Riemsdyk. Fletcher was defensive over the lack of a van Riemsdyk deal, saying a market never materialized for the winger.

Fletcher was in his fifth year leading the Flyers, with the team making the playoffs just once in his tenure. Philadelphia has hinted that it is embarking on a rebuild, accentuated by a letter coach John Tortorella wrote to season-ticket holders in February stating the team “is not there yet.”

Scott shared similar sentiments in announcing Fletcher’s dismissal.

“Flyers fans deserve a better team than what they’ve seen on the ice over the past few seasons, and a clear plan to return this team to Stanley Cup contention,” Scott said. “We know that this will be a multi-year process, and we are committed to doing it right, because we want to put this franchise on a path toward winning the Stanley Cup, period.”

The Flyers have not won a Stanley Cup since claiming back-to-back titles in 1974 and 1975. They last reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2010, when Briere was on the team.

Philadelphia is 24-30-11 this season under first-year coach Tortorella.

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