Philadelphia, PA, United States (4E Sports) – The Philadelphia Flyers have fired coach Peter Laviolette Monday, less than a day after the team dropped to 0-3 following a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
“This is just a gut feeling on my part,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. ” Right now, we’re not playing the way we have to play … that’s got to change.”
Holmgren said assistant Craig Berube, in his seventh season with the organization, will take over as coach. Berube is the 18th coach in team history while Ian Laperriere and John Paddock will serve as assistants.
“Craig is one of the smartest hockey guys I’ve ever been around,” Holmgren said. “He demands respect, he holds people accountable. he’s a no-B.S. kind of guy.”
Laviolette’s firing is the earliest to start an NHL season since the 1971-72 campaign, when Fred Glover was fired after three games with the California Golden Seals.
Chicago’s Denis Savard (2008), Pittsburgh’s Ivan Hlinka (2000) and Montreal’s Jacques Demers (1995) all were four games into their respective seasons when they were fired.
Laviolette was hired early in the 2009 season after John Stevens was fired and led the Flyers on an improbable run to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
Last season, Laviolette failed to lead the Flyers to the playoffs, fueling rumors that he would be replaced in the offseason.
However, Flyers chairman Ed Snider gave Laviolette a vote of confidence shortly before the season started. He acknowledged Monday that he was “disappointed” in the team’s combined poor effort in the preseason and regular season.
“Quite frankly, I was disappointed in the preseason we had,” Snider said. “I’m hoping for better. We always try to make the team as good as we possibly can. Sometimes we’re not right.”