VOORHEES, N.J. — Christian Folin had a flashback to his rookie season this morning.
As he arrived through the back door of Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, the familiar face of Chuck Fletcher was the first guy he saw.
“I was trying to get into the door, and I opened the door, Fletcher was right there,” Folin said Tuesday. “I was like, ‘Oh!’ It was kind of fun reading online and seeing he was going to be the new GM.”
Folin is the only current Flyers player familiar with Fletcher’s business acumen, having played for him as a rookie in 2014 until he left the organization for Los Angeles in 2017. Folin fondly remembers the personal attention he received from Fletcher.
“Going back to when I was in college, he took the time to come out and visit me,” Folin said. “We sat down, had a cup of coffee and talked about my future.”
Now the rest of the Flyers' team will be looking to get its foot into Fletcher’s door. The situation is no different than a franchise hiring a new coach as players are looking to make that first good impression and prove they’re part of the solution and not the problem.
“I’ve been part of a team when you get a new coach, you get a new assistant coach. You want to leave a good first impression and earn his trust as fast you can. As a GM, it’s the same thing,” Claude Giroux said. “He’s going to be evaluating a lot of things I’m guessing over the next few weeks.”
Fletcher introduced himself this morning just prior to Tuesday’s optional skate and the meeting was a relatively brief one — about 15 minutes — in which Fletcher briefly outlined his underlying message to the team.
“I’m not going to talk about what we talked about, but it was a good chat, a good honest talk. He’s looking forward to making some good things happen. He wants to win. We all have the same goals,” Sean Couturier said.
Who knows how the new regime will tweak Hextall’s business approach. Will the dietary restrictions be lifted during a postgame meal and will guests and visitors frequent the locker room when access was previously denied?
“I’m not going to get into all the details. It’s not for me to comment,” Couturier said. “We played for [Hextall]. We were all together. I’ve got nothing against him. I wouldn’t say we’re relaxed. It’s a change. No one has been through this situation before. It’s just uncertainty right now.”
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