The biggest thing to come out of today’s Chuck Fletcher press conference is that the organization’s focus is on finding and hiring the next coach. As a professional recruiter, I have had to listen to a million hiring managers attempt to talk about building an “ideal candidate profile” and the experience can be just as painful as what we just heard from Fletcher.
Hiring everyday accountants, customer service specialists, teachers, trash collectors, any kind of hiring is an immensely difficult thing to do right now. If you are Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers, it’s even more difficult to hire someone where there are only 32 available positions because the byproduct of such a specialized role is there is then a microscopic candidate pool. This is why we see the same 10 guys going through coaching jobs like musical chairs.
Cycling through the same small pool of “qualified candidates” (i.e. dudes that have already done the job before) is extremely problmatic. However, the Flyers and the rest of the NHL are businesses. More specifically, businesses that top-down, bottom-up, and every way in-between are remarkably risk adverse. Of course there are more people that could be NHL head coaches, but the fact of the matter is that there is very little incentive for Fletcher to take on that risk by going outside of the pre-known existing pool of candidates especially since a lot of Fletcher’s corporate maneuvering to keep his job is by presenting himself as “not being Ron Hextall,” the guy who hired an outsider in Dave Hakstol (fart noise).
Often times when you speak with someone about building “an ideal candidate profile” the conversation sounds just like the press conference that Chuck had in that the hiring manager won’t say specifically what or who they want because quite frankly, if Chuck already knew that, he would already be talking to that person. What ends up happening is that this becomes an exercise of definition by negation. When Chuck says things like:
“We really struggled defending all the time.”
“We didn’t have the puck enough.”