Famous Flyers Name — Shero — Making His Mark with Philly
Kyle Shero, now in his second year as a Philadelphia Flyers amateur scout, comes from famous bloodlines.
His grandfather, Fred Shero, was the quirky, ahead-of-his-time coach who led the Flyers to Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. He died at age 65 in1990, eight years before Kyle was born.
Kyle’s father, Ray, won a Stanley Cup as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager in 2009, and is now a senior advisor to Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin. (He could be a Flyers front-office candidate.)
And, now, the younger Shero, 25, is trying to make a name for himself.
“Obviously I’d love to accomplish the things they have in their careers, and hopefully my dad has more coming up,” Kyle Shero said recently. “But I don’t think I see it in that sense. I think they’ve carved a path for me to do what I’m doing now. One-hundred percent. I’m not going to insinuate I’d have the same passion for hockey (in another family). Who knows? Maybe I would.
We're proud to unveil a statue honoring #Flyers legend Fred Shero at @XFINITYLive this Sat.: http://t.co/ofXfC1xVz8 pic.twitter.com/0KXj3hrTsq
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 10, 2014
“But at the same time, my dad never put pressure on me to be a hockey player or enjoy hockey. He left it open for me to do what I wanted to do, which I really appreciated. Both my parents didn’t push me.”
Kyle Shero played hockey at Connecticut College. His brother, Chris, 27, played at Boston College and now scouts for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“He was the big brother who kind of pushed me to play hockey and want to be in hockey,” Kyle said. “So quite honesty, I think my brother may have been a bigger influence on me to get into hockey in the first place.”
He said he “didn’t love it at first, but once I saw him playing, I wanted to put on the skates and he’s the reason I really got into it.”
As far as following in his famous father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Kyle Shero said: “I don’t think I have something to prove necessarily. They have their own legacy that they both built, and if I could one day say I accomplished as much as them in any respect, that would be amazing. Right now, it’s about my own journey; it happens to be with my grandfather’s old team that he did so much for.
“But at the end of the day, I think they would want me to have my own path and do things my way. So I don’t have any pressure in that sense.”
Scours New England
Shero is mainly responsible for scouting high school, junior, and NCAA players in New England.
“Kyle has been eager to learn, and willing to put the time in,” Danny Briere, the Flyers’ interim general manager, said on Sunday. “I’ve been impressed with how he sees the game, and how it relates to players moving to play a pro game.”
Before Chuck Fletcher was dismissed as a general manger, he called Shero an “interesting kid because he was in business and finance at Connecticut College, and I think he had some jobs in finance — and could very easily have gone to Wall Street or taken a big job in finance. I spoke with him in January of his senior year. I’ve known him a long time, and obviously have known the family. And he just said he wanted to give hockey a try and was willing to scout.”
Fletcher, who assisted Ray Shero when the latter was the general manager in Pittsburgh and New Jersey, was pleased.
“I said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to go to Wall Street?’ He’s such a bright and talented man, and he said, ‘No, I think I want to give hockey a try.’ At the time, we didn’t have any sort of amateur scout in the New England area,” Fletcher said last month. “We had people flying in and watching games, but we had a need in that area between the high school and junior hockey in New England, plus all the colleges up there. So we had an opening and he was an ambitious young man. I knew him personally and knew he would fit in well.”
Fletcher said it was a “great opportunity to add a younger person and get a little youth and energy among the scouting staff. He’s done a great job.”
Shero appreciates the chance to grow with the Philadelphia Flyers.
“You think you know a lot, and then you come here and guys have 30, 40 years of experience, and you actually know nothing (comparatively),” he said. “For me, its about learning every day and trying to get more knowledge and making the most of the opportunity I have.”
Part of Shero’s job is scouting for the draft. Another part is watching all the college players in his area to make sure the Flyers are up to speed on prospects who have been drafted by other teams, as well as some of the potential college free agents.
In addition to scouting the New England area, Shero has gone to Michigan to get a look at the U.S. Development Program and has been an numerous USHL games.
Fred Shero.- #quote https://t.co/jpy1YTy05p pic.twitter.com/uoSS0Mf9bh
— Scott Hondow 🕵🏼♂️ 👍🏽💰 (@SaHondow) March 16, 2023
‘Really deep’ draft
Shero said the top of the 2023 draft class is “really deep. When you get into the 15-to-20 area, there’ a lot of variation…but even in that range you’re going to get a really good player, so I would say it is deep.”
As it stands now, the Flyers have the seventh-worst NHL record; the worse your record, the better your chances in the draft lottery. The Flyers do not have a second-round pick this year. Fletcher traded it to Buffalo, along with a first-rounder in 2021 and Robert Hagg, for Rasmus Ristolainen.
“In the second and third round, it may not be as deep as what you’ve seen prior to this, but you never know until five or six years down the road,” Shero said. “It sounds like the Euros have good players….and you have some question marks with Russians (and whether they will come to North America) who are high-end players.”
Shero has a passion for scouting. He was asked about the best part of his job. “Being able to watch hockey and get paid to do it,” he said, chuckling. “It’s obviously a treat. It’s something you cant even dream about growing up. Obviously, I grew up with my dad working in hockey and that brought me opportunities to see some really cool things in my life. Being able to see it up close and personal is pretty special for me.”
As a youngster, he got to travel with his dad and be on the ice when the Penguins clinched the Stanley Cup in Detroit in 2009. He was on the plane ride home with the joy-struck players and staff after Max Talbot scored a pair of goals in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 Game 7 victory.
“It was a rollercoaster season with (coach) Dan Bylsma coming in during the year,” he said. “I got to be on the ice with my dad when it was over. It was a really great moment for me.”
He said it was memorable to be on the plane returning to Pittsburgh, and “see how special it was to my parents. My mom was just as important as my dad in all that.”
Bob Clarke also gave him a moment to savor after he joined the Flyers last year. It was last April, and the younger Shero talked with Clarke at a meeting with scouts and executives in Voorhees.
“I hadn’t been onboard for too long, and I hadn’t met most of the guys on the scouting staff yet,” Shero said. “I knew Chuck from way back in Pittsburgh, growing up with his kids. And right when I got there, one of the first nights, I met Bobby Clarke. That was pretty special. He’s an awesome guy, and hearing the stories from him first-hand — I had read a lot of stories, and my dad had told me some — but to hear them from him was amazing.”
The Shero’s have a wall in their basement dedicated to some of Fred Shero’s accomplishments.
Better than a book
“That’s pretty cool,” Kyle Shero said, “but hearing it first-hand from someone who played for him for a long time was special. I know what Bobby meant to my grandfather, and how much my grandfather meant to him. Hearing it from him was so amazing. There wasn’t one story in particular, but just the respect they had for each other” came through.
Added Shero: “I know my grandfather could be a quirky guy at times. He was quiet and had his way of doing things. He respected Bobby so much, and just hearing those stories from him meant a lot more than reading about it in a book.”
It wasn’t until recently that Kyle Shero got to see the statue of his grandfather that stands near the arena complex. He was playing hockey in Detroit and unable to be there when the statue was dedicated in 2014.
“I never got to meet him,” Shero said, “and seeing that statue really put it in perspective what he meant to the city, and what the city meant to him.”