Brent Flahr is headed for the City of Brotherly Love.
The 44-year-old, Courtenay-raised hockey executive, who had been with the Minnesota Wild for nearly a decade, has been named vice-president and assistant general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The move re-unites Flahr and Flyers’ GM Chuck Fletcher. They had worked together in Minnesota from 2009 until Fletcher’s departure from the Wild at the end of last season.
“Chuck and I have worked together for a long time,” Flahr said Wednesday from a world junior event in Bonnyville, Alta, from where he will join the Flyers tonight in Calgary.
“We have a good relationship. It makes the transition easy. I know a lot of the staff already…These jobs don’t come available very often, so I’m pretty honoured.”
Flahr had been in his 10th season with the Wild, and his second as senior vice-president of hockey operations. Players selected by Minnesota during his tenure included Jason Zucker, Mikael Granlund, Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin, and Alex Tuch (now with Las Vegas).
“We had a good group. We fell short in a couple of playoffs — injuries are part of it. We ran into good teams.”
In his new job, Flahr will supervise the Flyers’ scouting department, oversee development of club prospects, and make decisions involving player personnel.
“I’ve done a lot of different sides of the game.”
Philadelphia plays in the NHL’s tough Metropolitan division, led by defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. As of Wednesday, the Flyers had 12 wins and 13 losses. The roster boasts a number of talented forwards, but the team has been plagued by injuries in net.
“It’s hard to win in this league when you’re healthy, let alone when dealing with injuries.”
Flahr played minor hockey in the Comox Valley, and junior hockey in Bellingham. He then played on the blue-line at Princeton University in New Jersey, captaining the Tigers in his final season. He’s been working in the National Hockey League since graduating in 1996.
“I had an opportunity to work in Florida, and I took it. Back then there wasn’t a big market for 5-10 defencemen, so I decided to use my education and move on.”
He spent six years as a scout with the Florida Panthers, then scouted four seasons for the Anaheim Ducks, including their Stanley Cup run in 2007. He then spent two years as director of hockey operations for the Ottawa Senators before joining the Wild.
Flahr is a married man — his wife’s name is Dana. His parents, Melanie and Harold, still live in Courtenay.