In his first full season as head coach, Craig Berube made odd lineup decisions, scratched players that shouldn’t have been scratched, criticized players that he didn’t use correctly and fumbled around with every aspect of coaching.
Inconsistency has been an issue with the Flyers since before Berube stepped in as coach, but he did nothing to stabilize the team’s overall performance. When a coach loses his locker room and a new coach comes in, that coach is supposed to take hold and re-energize his players, bring out the best in them. The problem with Berube taking over for Peter Laviolette was that Berube was a part of that staff that had already lost the players. Besides being unable to properly motivate his players, Berube constantly caused tension in the locker room with his misuse of players.
The beginning of the end may have been the departure of the Flyers long time goaltending coach Jeff Reese. After forcing Mason to play soon after returning from a knee injury and before he had a chance to feel 100%, Reese and the organization “mutually parted ways”. After Reese’s departure, the relationship between Mason and Berube seemed to break down for a few games.
At the exit interviews, some of the more annoyed players showed their true colors when asked about Berube. Others had weak endorsements for the coach, but when asked if they thought he’d be back next season, most said “we’ll see what happens”. Berube also put the final nail in his own coffin with his comments about players like Steve Mason and mostly Sean Couturier.
On Wednesday, Ron Hextall said they were still making the decision on what to do with Berube. Two days later the decision is made Berube is out and the hunt for a new Flyers coach begins.
“I would like to have a guy in place by the draft. That’s the goal… But we’re going to do our due diligence.” -Hextall
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 17, 2015
Plot Twist: Flyers hire Mike Babcock who brings on Todd McLellan and Claude Julien as his assistant coaches to form a super staff.
— Tim Riday (@TimRiday) April 17, 2015