December 4, 2018 / 12:31 AM / in 12 days

Flyers hire NHL veteran Fletcher as GM

The Philadelphia Flyers hired Chuck Fletcher as their executive vice president and general manager on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher (L) stands with Mike Yeo (R) after Yeo is named the new head coach of the Minnesota Wild NHL team in St. Paul, Minnesota June 17, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Miller

He replaces Ron Hextall, who was fired Nov. 26.

“At the conclusion of a rigorous review of GM candidates, Chuck Fletcher clearly stood out from the field of talented and capable executives we considered,” Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO David Scott said in a statement. “Chuck has earned success throughout his impressive NHL career and offers the right mix of expertise, business acumen and leadership qualities that the Flyers need today as we work to achieve our ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup Championship.”

Fletcher, 51, has worked with NHL teams for 25 years and most recently served as a senior adviser with the New Jersey Devils. He was the GM of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-18, but his contract was not renewed in the spring.

During his tenure there, the Wild compiled a 399-298-89 record and qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of his last six seasons, which is the second-longest active streak in the NHL.

In Minnesota, Fletcher was willing to take risks in free agency, signing defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise to big contracts in 2012 and adding Eric Staal as a free agent in 2016.

Hextall had been criticized for being too patient and failing to make aggressive moves. The franchise went 165-128-58 under Hextall.

“I want to see if we have solutions in house and handle those internally,” Fletcher said Monday. “If we can’t find solutions internally, we will look externally. The goal is to make the playoffs this year.

“There’s no reason we can’t be a playoff team now.”

The Flyers are 11-12-2 and in 15th place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. Since the 2012-13 season, the Flyers have missed the playoffs three times and lost in the conference quarterfinals three times.

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