Report: Flyers Fire Head Coach Peter Laviolette

Photo via BigBadBlog.com

The jar of jam has officially run out, only three games into the 2013-14 campaign, as reports say Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette has been fired. Assistant Coach Craig Berube is expected to take his place. TSN’s Darren Dreger also reports that Assistant Coach Kevin McCarthy was also let go, and will be replaced by former player Ian Laperriere. Lappy had been an amateur scout with the team since retiring in 2012.

After missing the playoffs during last year’s lockout-shortened season for only the second time in the last 18 years, changes had to be made heading into this season, including Laviolette’s forecheck-heavy, offensive system. Forwards are always expected to be on the puck fast and hard. Defensemen are relied on to jump in the play when chances arise, and move the puck quickly and efficiently. Three games into this season, the team seems to be running into the same problems they were last year, and Lavy hadn’t adjusted his system to the players he was provided with.

TSN.ca reports that three games into a season is the earliest a head coach has ever been fired. The previous earliest number was four games.

Many thought if the Flyers got off to a bad start this year, he would be let go. Bovada even had listed the odds of him being fired as 2/1. But no one expected it to happen this early, and wonder why he wasn’t fired after last year.

And believe it or not, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Chip Kelly is now the longest-tenured coach in Philly sports, after 18 long months of playoff-less sports. Laviolette joins Charlie Manuel, Andy Reid and Doug Collins as the ousted coaches in Philadelphia sports.

Hard to believe just three years ago, this team was two games away from a Stanley Cup.

Laviolette was 145-98-29 in his parts of five seasons as head coach of the Flyers, leading them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in three out of four full seasons, including to the Stanley Cup in 2010, where the Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks. He brought the Flyers to one division championship, in 2010-11.

He’ll always be remembered for his 2010 Stanley Cup run, and his ability to know just when his team needed a pep-talk, calling timeouts at any point in the game, 5 minutes in, or 1 minute left. He joins Fred Shero as the only head coach in Flyers history to coach parts of five seasons with the team.

The question now, is whether Berube can step in and be a head coach. His only head coaching job came in 2007-08 with the then-Philadelphia Phantoms, as they posted a 46-27-4-3 record. After that season, Berube was promoted to assistant coach of the Flyers, where he had remained ever since.