Flyers general manager search: Steve Greeley, a young high-riser with a connection


Former Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is the front-runner

Blue Jackets assistant GM Bill Zito is a dark horse candidate with a solid working relationship with Flyers president Paul Holmgren.

The Flyers' GM search will take "weeks, not months." The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported the Flyers' list is down to four.

Another name connected to the search is Sabres assistant general manager Steve Greeley, a 38-year-old who appears on the fast track to running a franchise soon.

According to TSN's Frank Seravalli, Greeley is on the Flyers' list of GM candidates but the team had yet to ask permission from Buffalo to talk to him.

Why Greeley's a fit

While Dean Lombardi is not a candidate for the GM job, the former Kings general manager will advise Holmgren on the job search. That's significant because Lombardi hired Greeley as a scout in 2006 in Los Angeles. That connection doesn't hurt. Holmgren made it clear the Flyers would want a fresh perspective in the next GM and Greeley would be that despite the Lombardi connection.

Greeley is a hot name rising in the hockey circles. He oversees the Sabres' pro scouting staff and player development department and previously interviewed for the Carolina GM job. He spent seven years as an amateur and pro scout with the Kings and then jumped into the coaching waters, becoming an associate head coach at Boston University. He then joined the Rangers as their assistant director of player personnel before going to the Sabres.

The book on Greeley is that he's a hockey guy with a modern perspective who takes analytics into the equation. Holmgren said he's looking for a "new voice with a different mindset that can push the team to the next level." Greeley certainly would be a new voice.

Why Greeley's not a fit

As my linemate Jordan Hall mentioned, the Flyers appear to desire a general manager who's been there before, especially since they want to be players at the NHL trade deadline in February.

Greeley's résumé doesn't include previous GM experience, which doesn't automatically disqualify him but could be a roadblock. Seravalli's report, though, suggests otherwise.

Then we have to factor in Buffalo. The Sabres very well may decline the Flyers' request to speak with Greeley should Holmgren ask. Highly doubtful, especially since they granted the Hurricanes permission, but it's still on the table.

What they're saying

"I think Sabres assistant GM Steve Greeley would be a good hire for Philly. Played 4 years at BU. 38 years old. Smart. He interviewed with Carolina. He oversees pro scouting staff and player development department in Buffalo. I think he'd be a great hire."

- John Buccigross, ESPN broadcaster

"Greeley is credited with having massive role in the Rangers' recruitment of Jimmy Vesey and he was the recruiting guru at Boston University. He relates very well to today's players. He's also very caught up on what statistics are saying about hockey in 2018."

- Adam Herman, BlueShirtBanter

"Greeley is another bright guy who is well versed on both the old-school and analytics-based approaches."

- Bill Meltzer, Flyers official website and HockeyBuzz contributor

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