NHL: Flyers Fire Coach Peter Laviolette

The Philadelphia Flyers fired head coach Peter Laviolette after an 0-3 start and replaced him with assistant coach Craig Berube.

Oct 7 2013, 7:57pm CDT | by

NHL: Flyers Fire Coach Peter Laviolette
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Peter Laviolette era is officially over in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Flyers fired Laviolette on Monday after an 0-3 start and will be replaced by assistant Craig Berube. It is still uncertain whether Berube will serve on an interim basis or he will be given the official title of head coach, per Frank Seravall of the Philadelphia Daily News

The move comes as a bit of a surprise considering Flyers chairman Ed Snider declared on Sept. 13 that Laviolette was not in danger of losing his job. 

However, Snider said the Flyers' preseason (1-5-1) and early regular-season (0-3) performance changed everything, according to the NHL's official website. 

"Training camp was a disaster. I've been at 47 training camps and I've never seen one that I thought was worse. Now that's not talking about Peter, that's talking about our players. And it carried right on over to the first three games of the season." 

For his part, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who spoke with CSN Philly's Sarah Baicker, said he merely followed his gut.

"This is just a gut feeling on my part. Right now, we're just not playing the way we have to play -- we're not playing the way we have to play to win in the National Hockey League, and that's got to change.

"Whether it's fresh ideas or a new voice, I'm not going to sit here and try to pinpoint that. That's up to Craig, that's his job. But I didn't like the direction the team was heading and felt we needed a change.

"I liked Peter, I thought he deserved another opportunity. We made some changes in the summer that got us all excited. It was a fleeting thought. 

"But at the end of the day, I just think, going back, I think (keeping Laviolette) was the right thing to do at the time. We started training camp, we started the year with Peter, and I just didn't like what I was seeing." 

On the other hand, Berube, who gets his first crack at being an NHL head coach, said his primary focus is improving Philadelphia's defense, which has allowed nine goals through the first three games.

"I believe that we need to play better without the puck. When you play good hockey without the puck, the team comes together and you do the right things to get the puck back and you keep the puck out of your net. 

"Right now we need to stress that and do a better job of it. We need to take pride in it." 

Laviolette's dismissal is the earliest in the NHL in more than 40 years, when Fred Glover of the California Golden Seals was also fired after just three regular-season games, per ESPN. 

Laviolette previously won the Stanley Cup coaching the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010, only to lose in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks

In parts of five seasons with Philadelphia, Laviolette went 145-98-29 since his hiring in 2009. His playoff record stands at 23-22. 

He will still serve as one of Dan Bylsma's assistants for the United States men's hockey team in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. 

Berube will call the shots for the Flyers beginning on Oct. 8 when the team takes on the visiting Florida Panthers. 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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