from Charlie O'Connor of The Athletic,
Philadelphia Flyers culture. It’s a nebulous, multifaceted concept — but very, very real.
The Flyers are tough. They take care of their own. They promote from within. They spend whatever it takes to win. They don’t believe in taking steps back to take bigger steps forward. True stewards of Flyers culture, the thinking goes, carry the torch of founder Ed Snider, in a relentless march toward inevitable success.
In the 1970s and 1980s under Snider, the march began. It continued through the 1990s, even as Comcast entered the picture and purchased Snider’s Spectacor, keeping Snider as chairman. The collective of former players and executives even continued to successfully trudge forward in the early 2000s, as the Flyers made another Stanley Cup Final appearance.
But the NHL’s implementation of the salary cap in 2005 slowed the Flyers’ advance. Snider’s death in 2016, of course, took away the embodiment of said culture. And on March 10, 2023, the man handpicked by the organization’s remaining stewards — Chuck Fletcher — was released from his duties as general manager and president of hockey operations.
If ownership has the courage to accept hard truths, March 10, 2023, could also stand as the moment when the old Flyers culture — along with all of its remaining champions — was finally, mercifully deemed in need of retirement.
After all, the fingerprints of Flyers culture were all over Fletcher’s ultimately failed tenure as GM.