October 7, 2013

Flyers fire Franklin, Mass., native Laviolette

By Jesse Connolly

Peter Laviolette, who was hired Dec. 4, 2009, ranks third in team history with 145 victories. (Getty Images)

Peter Laviolette began the 2013-14 season on the hot seat. It took just three games for his fate to be decided.

The Flyers have elected to fire their head coach after a trio of losses to start the campaign, during which Philadelphia has been outscored 9-3. Longtime NHL tough guy Craig Berube will take over behind the bench.

Laviolette (Franklin, Mass.), who led the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in 2006, finishes with a record of 145-98-29 in Philadelphia. He took over midway through the 2009-10 season and guided the Flyers to the Cup finals, where they lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Philly finished 10th in the East during the lockout-shortened season last year, which was six points back of the eighth-seeded Islanders. That left them outside of the playoff picture for the first time since 2007.

Laviolette's squad finished the year strong with four straight victories, pushing them above .500 (23-22-3, 49 points) -- perhaps buying the coach some extra time in the process.

“Our team played hard until the end,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said at the time. “Peter is a strong motivator and a strong tactician. I expect him to lead our team back into the playoffs next year.”

So much for that idea.

Many expect Laviolette to be among the top candidates for the next NHL coaching vacancy. He owns a 389-282-25-63 record in his NHL coaching career.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com