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Flyers Governor Has Expertise in Different Kind of Team Building



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Philadelphia Flyers governor Dan Hilferty and president of hockey operations Keith Jones both took to the podium (table, really) on Wednesday morning to address the media for what was more or less their version of an exit interview in a press conference. And though neither of the Flyers’ leaders had any kind of breaking news or similar information to share, the press conference was still very productive.

The passion from Hilferty, in particular, was tangible. And that’s something that should excite Flyers fans as the organization seeks to continue heading in the right direction over the next few seasons.

“It’s about creating an environment where players, coaches, us in the management part, strive for excellence. And that’s going to continue,” Hilferty declared, also citing the ongoing renovations of the Flyers Training Center and Wells Fargo Center as part of that process. “I’m just really excited about where we are. Thrilled with Keith’s leadership. Thrilled with Danny’s leadership, how the two of them work together. Thrilled with Coach Tortorella and the way the three of them can finish each other’s sentences and how, together, we’re going to build a winner.”

In hockey, building a winner isn’t exclusively about the talent on the ice. To be clear, that is a massive part of it, but it isn’t everything. Culture–the Flyers’ favorite buzzword–matters, too. It matters not when there isn’t action or some kind of quantifiable evidence to support its existence.

That all starts from the top. Jones, Danny Briere, and John Tortorella run the hockey show, and Hilferty runs them. Together, they’re a team working to make the best Philadelphia Flyers they possibly can.

“I obviously come from a different industry. Kind of the hallmark, if we can call it, of my time in leadership roles has been about building teams,” Hilferty explained. “Building teams where (there are) complementary skillsets, where people have an opportunity to shine in areas where they’re really good but get the support from other leaders where they’re good.

“And so my first impression was, I think we all have healthy egos. If you play in the NHL at the level Keith and Danny did, coach in the NHL at the level Torts has, there’s egos involved, right? We see that. . . but I’ve never seen an unwillingness to share and listen to other points of view. For me, that’s number one.”

For Hilferty, the Flyers’ “culture of collaboration” starts there. By extension–with Briere and Jones running the team and Tortorella coaching it–that becomes the product on the ice, too. That’s what this New Era of Orange is all about.

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