Flyers make changes to hockey operations staff

Flyers make changes to hockey ops department originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

With a new president and general manager, the Flyers were bound to make some changes to their hockey operations staff.

Changes were announced Friday, a day after an important month of June commenced for the Flyers.

The club let go senior advisor to the GM and player development Mike O'Connell and player development coaches John Riley and Kjell Samuelsson.

The Flyers also made significant promotions. Alyn McCauley was named assistant general manager, Riley Armstrong director of player development and Nick Schultz assistant director of player development.

McCauley was previously the team's director of player personnel, while Armstrong was an assistant coach with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley and Schultz a player development coach with the Flyers.

"I'm excited to announce the promotions of Alyn, Riley and Nick," Flyers GM Danny Briere said in a statement released by the team. "These three have been around the organization for some time, in particularly, with our current prospects and young players, so I know they will each provide the direction and leadership that is necessary to get our future assets to the NHL level."

O'Connell was hired by the Flyers in Aug. 2021 when Chuck Fletcher was president of hockey ops and general manager. Fletcher was fired in March as Briere took over as GM under an interim status. A little over three weeks ago, the Flyers announced Keith Jones as new president and Briere the new full-time GM.

The 56-year-old Riley had worked for the Flyers over the last 15 seasons, both in player development and amateur scouting.

Samuelsson, a Flyers defenseman for parts of nine seasons, was a player development coach in the organization over the last 10 years. Prior to that role, the 64-year-old had worked on the Phantoms' coaching staff since 2000.

Riley and Samuelsson often ran the Flyers' development camps in the summer.

McCauley will oversee the Flyers' pro scouting efforts and player personnel and run Lehigh Valley's hockey ops staff.

He played parts of nine seasons in the NHL and served the Flyers as a pro scout for four-plus seasons before being promoted to director of player personnel in February 2022. The 46-year-old came to the organization in July 2017 from the Kings. He was on Los Angeles' scouting staff when the club won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.

Armstrong, 38, was named a Phantoms assistant coach in Aug. 2021. He worked under Briere for three seasons with the ECHL's Maine Mariners. As a player, the forward compiled 404 career AHL games. He played a pair of games for the Sharks during 2008-09 and also had pro stints in Finland, Sweden, Russia and Germany.

Schultz, 40, will work with Armstrong on prospect development. He was hired as a player development coach in June 2019. As a player, Schultz suited up for 1,069 NHL games between four teams. The role-oriented, team-first defenseman played his final three seasons for the Flyers from 2014 to 2017 and appeared in 743 games with the Wild.

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