Philadelphia Flyers fire coach Peter Laviolette
An 0-3 start led to the firing of Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA – Peter Laviolette, the fiery coach whose Philadelphia Flyers grew progressively worse after he directed them to an improbable run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, was fired Monday and replaced with one of his assistants, Craig Berube.
“I’m not going to let the players off the hook,” general manager Paul Holmgren said at a news conference. “Things have to get better and they will.”
After serving parts of five seasons with the Flyers, the 48-year-old coach who implored his team to play with “jam” was jammed out the door after his team started the season with three straight losses. He had a 145-98-29 record since being hired early in the 2009-2010 season.
In 2013, the Flyers missed the playoffs for the second time in the last 18 seasons.
“From my own point of view, I really wasn’t happy with last year, but we blamed it on a lot of issues; we thought those issues were valid and thought Peter deserved an opportunity,” said Ed Snider, Flyers chairman.
Snider said he received a call from Holmgren late Sunday — after the Flyers’ 2-1 loss in Carolina, the team Laviolette once coached to the Stanley Cup — and that he “approved” the GM’s decision to replace the coach.
Snider said he thought the Flyers’ performance in the lockout-shortened 2013 season was “an anomaly. He’s a great coach, a great guy; he works his butt off. But I thought our training camp, quite frankly, was one of the worst training camps I’ve ever seen. And I’m not talking about wins and losses. There was nothing exciting. Nobody shined. Nobody looked good. I couldn’t point to one thing that I thought was a positive coming out of training camp, and personally I was worried.”
The Flyers went 1-5-1 in the exhibition season.
“Unfortunately, my fears were realized in the first three games — scoring one goal in each game. And looking disorganized,” Snider added. “If it wasn’t for our goalies, I think it could have been a lot worse.”
Berube, 47, was in his seventh season as a Flyers assistant and 17th overall season with the team. He added Ian Laperriere and John Paddock as assistants. Joey Mullen and Jeff Reese will remain as assistants, and assistant Kevin McCarthy was fired.
Holmgren said Berube will bring a more defensive-minded approach to the team. Berube received a multiyear deal, but the length of the contract was still being finalized, said Peter Luukko, the president of Comcast-Spectacor, the Flyers’ parent company.
Laviolette took over for the fired John Stevens during the 2009-10 season.
The Flyers earned a playoff berth on the final day of that season.
From there, the Flyers ousted favored New Jersey in the opening round, overcame a 3-0 series deficit to shock Boston and wiped out Montreal to reach the Stanley Cup Final.
The Flyers lost in the best-of-seven Final to Chicago in six games.