The Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday that they have fired Coach Peter Laviolette. Laviolette was let go only three games into the season, tying Fred Glover’s record for the earliest firing into a season since 1971-72. The Flyers have chosen Assistant Coach Craig Berube to replace Laviolette as Coach of the Flyers.
Peter Laviolette, 48 is a hockey Coach with proven methods. Prior to Coaching the Flyers Laviolette was a former National Hockey Defenseman, playing 10 games in the NHL, and playing for America in the Olympics in 1988 and 1994. He then went on to coaching the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL. After one season he moved up to Head Coach of the Providence Bruins AHL (American Hockey League,) team, he led them to win the AHL in his first year. He was rightfully named AHL Coach of the Year. Because of his recognition in the AHL, he became the Assistant Coach for the Boston Bruins. He left the Bruins for a Head Coach position for the New York Islanders. Laviolette then headed to Carolina to become the Head Coach of the Hurricanes. Winning a Stanley cup title with the Hurricanes, their first in franchise history in 2006. He was the fourth American-born coach to win the Stanley Cup at the time. In 2006 he was also the Coach of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team in Turin, Italy.
Laviolette had spent four full seasons as the Flyers Head Coach, three of these seasons he helped lead the Flyers to the Playoffs. The Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in game six overtime. After the Flyers not making the playoffs in the 2012-13 season last year, there was talk of getting rid of Laviolette, and scares of GM Paul Holmgren being replaced as well. This is why it was such a surprise that Laviolette was just let go three games into the season. The Flyers weren’t looking great after their preseason games, and with a 3-0-0 start to the regular season fans knew that something was going to change.
We can only hope that this was the right move and that we will start to see a change while it is still early in the regular season. Berube will definitely add some fresh perspective, and hopefully he has been waiting to get a hold of the reins of this team and we will see a turn around.