Former NHL players Ed Olczyk and Keith Jones have emerged as finalists in the search for a new president of the Philadelphia Flyers. The team announced on Tuesday that Olczyk and Jones are the two candidates being considered to succeed Paul Holmgren in the role.
Olczyk, 54, played 16 seasons in the NHL and was a member of the 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers. He later coached the Pittsburgh Penguins for two seasons and has been a highly respected broadcaster for NBC Sports since 2006. Olczyk has also been involved in horse racing and was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017 but has since made a full recovery.
Jones, 52, spent 11 seasons in the NHL as a forward, primarily with the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers. Since retiring in 2000, he has served as a studio analyst for NHL on NBC. Jones has also been involved in coaching, serving as an assistant coach for the Flyers from 2013 to 2015.
The Flyers have been without a president since Holmgren was promoted to senior advisor in February after 13 years in the role. The team has been conducting a search for his replacement, with team governor Dave Scott saying that they were looking for someone with a “proven track record in leading a business, expertise in developing and managing a winning culture, and a passion for hockey and the Flyers.”
Both Olczyk and Jones have extensive experience in the NHL and are well-respected within the league. They would bring different skill sets to the role of president. Olczyk’s experience as a coach and broadcaster would give him a unique perspective on the sport, while Jones’ background as a player and coach would make him well-suited for managing personnel and developing a winning culture.
Whoever is ultimately chosen as the new Flyers president will inherit a team that is coming off a disappointing season. The Flyers finished with a record of 25-23-8 and missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the past nine seasons. The team has some young talent, including center Sean Couturier and defenseman Ivan Provorov, but will need to make significant strides to become a playoff contender again.
The Flyers have not indicated when they expect to make a final decision on their new president. However, the fact that they have narrowed the field down to just two candidates suggests that the search is entering its final stages. The team will be hoping that the individual they select will be able to lead them back to the top of the NHL standings.