Peter Laviolette’s job is totally safe, at least that’s what Flyers chairman Ed Snider told us about a month ago.
“As far as Peter [Laviolette] is concerned, last year was an anomaly. He’s been a very good coach for us. A good coach in this league. We’re thrilled to have him.”
But reassurances can’t be taken very seriously, especially when the team is looking for a cup. Laviolette was expected to get the boot last season when the Flyers repeatedly failed to perform and played through the entire shortened season with barely any energy. The Flyers finished the 2013 season with a 22-25 record and missed out on the playoffs for the first time in Lavy’s Philly career.
The idea of firing Laviolette caused a bit of controversy with some people in favor of it and some on Laviolette’s side believing that he was given little to work with and that the player’s lackluster performance wasn’t completely his fault. Either way, the Flyers didn’t perform and the most action that was taken was a line demotion for Scott Hartnell and the buyout of Ilya Bryzgalov which probably wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t repeatedly bash the city and the fans to the media.
If this season starts out as slow as the last one it looks like people expect Laviolette to be gone.
Peter Laviolette (PHI) 2/1
Bob Hartley (CAL) 5/2
Kirk Muller (CAR) 3/1
Mike Yeo (MIN) 4/1
Claude Noel (WPG) 9/2
Those are the odds for which head coach will get fired first. If Laviolette can keep the Flyers from excessive losses early on into the season and avoid a record like the 0-7 preseason then he may be able to save his job. If not, something will have to be done to save the season and a coaching change is the quickest way to scare a team into action (It seemed to work when they fired Stevens).