Give Chuck some time, he’s new here

We all had our issues with Hextall for making us wait to contend, but we’re going to have to wait for just a little bit longer under Fletcher.

Aggressive. It’s a word I’ve used a lot and a term many Flyers fans have been screaming from the proverbial rooftops for quite some time now. We want this organization to be aggressive, both on the ice and above it. Under Ron Hextall, this organization was not aggressive. Calculated? Yes. Steadfast? Indubitably. Meticulous? Absolutely. But aggressive? No, at least not openly.

With Holmgren’s decision to relieve Hextall of his duties to bring about a change in philosophy, the natural assumption was that whomever would replace Hextall as general manager would be the opposite of the former head of the front office. So when Chuck Fletcher was formally presented as the new executive vice president and GM, surely he would make immediate large-scale changes across the board, no? Upheaval of the coaching staff. Wholesale roster changes. The organization as we’ve known it for the past four plus years shall be blown to smithereens.

Well gee, Chuck, it’s been a hot minute since your introductory press conference and nothing’s changed. You even talked about needing to continue to build through the draft and develop the core from within. What gives? Why don’t we have a new goalie yet? Why isn’t Artemi Panarin a Flyer? Why isn’t Dave Hakstol on his way back to North Dakota? Were we mislead? Have you duped Paul Holmgren and Dave Scott? Are you another Hextall? ARE WE CONDEMNED TO FOUR MORE YEARS OF MEDIOCRITY?!

That escalated quickly.

In a matter of days, we went from excitement and maybe even nervousness over potential changes that could shake us to our very core, to tense – and in some cases, frantic – over no large-scale personnel or coaching staff shuffling.

Deep breaths, fam. In through your nose. Out through your mouth. Everything is alright.

I’m not going to use the “p” word, but we need to give Chuck some time to settle in to his new digs. It’s easy to assume changes were going to be made almost immediately with how much emphasis was placed on needing to improve, well, immediately, by Paul Holmgren and Dave Scott in their press conference after firing Ron Hextall last week. But the fact of the matter is, making any changes at this point would be flying blind in a sense. Fletcher needs to assimilate to his new surroundings. He has players to speak with, hands to shake throughout the front office and scouting department, coaches to bother at breakfast. At his introductory press conference, Fletcher spoke about evaluating in-house personnel before deciding on potential external sources for improvement. All of this is going to take some time, certainly more than a few days. Fletcher is not a gun-slinger, at least not any more (Nick Leddy, hello). He’s going to get a lay for the land, evaluate his new team and proceed from there as he sees fit. At this point he likely has a plan, but it’s probably more of an outline. The details will be filled in as he gets to know this organization. How long that takes is anyone’s guess, but it will be an ongoing process and changes will be made soon enough. Chuck Fletcher will bring aggression back to this organization. Calculated aggression. Let’s give him a chance to familiarize himself with his surroundings before we go full Flyera and lose our collective minds.

Deep breaths, fam. In through your nose. Out through your mouth. Everything is alright.

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