Will Fly­ers’ new GM Fletcher be bold?

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - NBA - Dave Isaac

Last week, af­ter the Fly­ers fired Ron Hex­tall as gen­eral man­ager, Com­cast Spec­ta­cor chair­man and CEO Dave Scott set the ta­ble for his new­est em­ployee when he said he was look­ing for a “bias for ac­tion.”

Chuck Fletcher, who the Fly­ers named the ninth gen­eral man­ager in fran­chise his­tory, isn’t ready to start trad­ing picks and prospects or form­ing a new staff just yet.

En­ter­ing the week, the Fly­ers were five points shy of a play­off spot, which is the short-term goal for the group that was sup­posed to take a much big­ger step for­ward this sea­son than that. Fletcher is sup­pos­edly some­where in be­tween the ag­gres­sive­ness of pres­i­dent Paul Holm­gren, who offered Fletcher the job, and Hex­tall, who rarely made a move.

“We have some work to do, no doubt,” Fletcher said on a con­fer­ence call with re­porters, “but there are some very strong play­ers here. There are some play­ers that are find­ing their way in the NHL and get­ting bet­ter.”

If there is ac­tion, it won’t be im­me­di­ate ei­ther for the roster or the staff.

Coach Dave Hak­stol, whose con­tract runs through next sea­son, said last week that he wasn’t look­ing over his shoul­der and likely doesn’t have rea­son to in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture. Fletcher said he’s known Hak­stol for a while, not­ing that when he was a gen­eral man­ager with the Min­nesota Wild for nine sea­sons he al­ways no­ticed that Hak­stol’s pupils at North Dakota got bet­ter when Hak­stol coached there.

“I’m just com­ing in. I’m a big be­liever in try­ing to get to know a sit­u­a­tion be­fore you make a re­ac­tion,” Fletcher said when asked specifically about a po­ten­tial coach­ing change. ”

But Fletcher was pretty bold in Min­nesota, too.

“We made some big moves. He’s not afraid to make moves,” Wild owner Craig Leopold told a hand­ful of re­porters at the NHL’s board of gover­nors meet­ings in Ge­or­gia Dec. 3.

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