Paul Holmgren reaffirmed the fact that Peter Laviolette will remain behind the bench next season for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Exit interviews conducted team-wide back at their practice facility in Voorhees on Sunday, following Saturday’s season-ending 2-1 win at Ottawa revealed little scoop in that area, despite rumor and speculation that Laviolette’s job was in jeopardy after missing out on the playoffs.
“Peter Laviolette’s the coach. I don’t know where all this crap came from,” said the perturbed GM at the mandatory presser. “I don’t know who your sources are…but it’s ridiculous. We’re not in the playoffs so we all underperformed. Players, coaches, myself. We’ve gotta get better.”
Laviolette presided over a 2013 season with many upsides and downsides, finishing 23-22-3 but only good enough for last place in the Atlantic Division, which sent three teams to the postseason.
His record in Philadelphia, since December of 2009, now stands at 145-95-29, which is still very impressive given the constant state of turmoil the club finds itself with wildly-varying expectations, playoff runs or lack thereof, and player-media battles year after year.
“I can’t speak for other people,” Laviolette offered when asked how he thought he fared during this truncated schedule. “Certainly I think we have a good group here. I think we have a young group.”
And the 48-year-old Olympian, Calder Cup and Stanley Cup winner wisely wouldn’t take the bait offered by another reporter: “Do I think we have smart people in charge making the decisions? Yeah, I think we do.”
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More members of the Orange and Black will be heading over to Scandinavia for the 2013 IIHF World Championships from May 3-19.
In addition to those Americans and Canadians already committed to the tournament hosted in Stochkolm and Helsinki, defenseman Oliver Lauridsen will suit up for Denmark, Jakub Voracek will be repping the Czech Republic, Erik Gustafsson will skate for Sweden, Ilya Bryzgalov tends goal for Mother Russia, and Titans/Phantoms forward Marcel Noebels will try to place Germany above all others.
The Russians won Gold last year, for the third time in five seasons. Canada hasn’t finished first since 2007, Team USA has never won and last medaled in 2004 with Bronze; Denmark has never finished in the top three, while Sweden was runner-up in 2011 and last took Gold in 2006. The Czechs won it all in 2010 and placed third in each of the last two tournaments. Deutschland’s last success was a Silver medal as West Germany in 1953.