The Philadelphia Flyers have fired head coach Peter Laviolette after three straight losses to open the season. Last night’s loss saw the Flyers lose 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Assistant coach Kevin McCarthy was also fired according to TSN in Canada. The news came from the Philadelphia Daily News’ Frank Servalli and Comcast Sports Network’s Tim Panaccio.
Craig Berube will replace Laviolette behind the bench. (He is the permanent coach and did not have the interim tag attached to him.) Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the Flyers have made Ian Laperriere and John Paddock as assistants. The Flyers held a press conference where Chairman Ed Snider deferred the decision to fire Laviolette as General Manger as Paul Holmgren's.
Snider said the organization did not need a fresh perspective and said they "have a pretty good culture." He also lauded the moves that Holmgren made in the offseason to bring in Vinny Lecavalier, Ray Emery and Mark Streit. He also said that he didn't consult any of the players in the firing.
Philadelphia has scored only a goal a game in the three losses this season and that’s after signing Vincent Lecavalier in the offseason to give them some scoring punch. The Flyers missed the postseason last year and this poor start to the season did not help Laviolette with a fan base that demands winning.
Laviolette was hired in 2009 after John Stevens was dismissed, and led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup final in 2010 before falling to the Chicago Blackhawks. He compiled a record of 145-98-29 as the bench boss on Broad Street.
This is a big change from earlier in the day where the Flyers were talking about a trade for Calgary scorer Curtis Glencross. The team does have glaring weaknesses in defense and goaltending and struggled over the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see what direction the club Berube takes it in. However, this gives Holmgren and Snider a clean slate.
According to research, Laviolette’s firing was the fastest firing to start a season. The Flyers talked about not wanting to be an organization that makes changes every minute, but they have made a lot of changes on a whim. They let players like Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Sergei Bobrovsky go only to succeed in other locations. The Flyers have a rich past, but might still be living in it. Whatever the case, Craig Berube has his work cut out for him.
Dan Mount is an NHL and college football writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown, NY and can be followed on Twitter @DanMountSports.