Flyers Interview Emilie Castonguay, Presumably for President of Hockey Operations Position
The Flyers are beginning their search for a new President of Hockey Operations, and a way-outside-the-box candidate may have emerged Tuesday.
Multiple sources confirmed that the Flyers interviewed Vancouver Canucks Assistant General Manager Emilie Castonguay. None would confirm that the interview was specifically for the position of President of Hockey Operations, but two sources were willing to say that was likely the intent of the meeting.
Castonguay, 36, has been with the Canucks since January of 2022. Previously she was the first female NHL-certified player agent and represented New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere, negotiating his entry-level contract.
Castonguay worked for the Momentum Hockey agency since 2016. While attending Niagara University where she played for the Women’s hockey team, Castonguay interned with the Montreal Canadiens before going to law school at the University of Montreal.
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There’s an interesting connection to Castonguay on the Flyers search committee for President.
Once again, Neil Glasberg – who was involved with the hiring of John Tortorella and is now on the search team for the next President of Hockey Operations along with former 76ers GM Billy King and Comcast-Spectacor CEOs Dan Hilferty and Valerie Camillo – has a connection to Castonguay through one of his clients.
Glasberg is the founder and CEO of The Coaches Agency, which lists the Canucks as one of their clients.
Now, one could argue that having one team as a client and trying to help one of their executives land a job with a competitor is a conflict of interest.
It would be a good argument.
Sources indicated that if Castonguay were hired by the Flyers that she would like to bring another Canucks AGM with her – Hockey Hall of Famer Cammie Granato.
The Canucks were a team in turmoil in 2022-23. They botched the firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau in January by having him serve as a lame duck for a couple weeks and having the whole thing play out publicly. GM Jim Rutherford replaced him with former Flyer Rick Tocchet, but despite a modicum of improvement, Vancouver still missed the playoffs by 12 points (38-37-7, 83 points).
This interview with Castonguay is by no means a guarantee that the Flyers are going in this direction, but it is indicative as to what their mindset might be.
I included that YouTube link above to show that the Flyers would like the President of Hockey Ops to be more of a public-facing position, almost as if they are looking to market the team better from the Hockey Ops side, and let Danny Briere have the autonomy to run the team from the GM position without there being too many fingers in the pie.
This would be a different arrangement than a lot of other organizations in pro sports where the President of [Name the Sport] Operations is the primary decision maker on roster construction and the GM serves at that person’s pleasure (See the 76ers with Darryl Morey and Elton Brand and the Phillies with Dave Dombrowski and Sam Fuld).
It would certainly be unique and different and nothing like the Flyers have ever seen in the past. The question is, is this city and fan base ready for it?