In the fastest firing after the start of a season in NHL history, the Philadelphia Flyers have dismissed head coach Peter Laviolette. Coach of the Flyers since 2009, Laviolette got the team to the Stanley Cup Finals followed by two subsequent second-round exits.
Last season, with a streak of questionable goaltending (and goaltending personnel decisions), the Flyers missed the playoffs. They were off to an 0-3 start this year, and with last night's loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, general manager Paul Holmgren decided he'd seen enough. Laviolette will be replaced with Craig Berube.
Lavy-Watch has been ongoing since last season, so today's news comes as no surprise. What is unfortunate about this situation is that the problems plaguing the Flyers are not his fault. The defense is not what it used to be, and the goaltending is laughable. When a GM trades away a one-two punch like Jeff Carter and Mike "Leadership" Richards to get cap room for Ilya Bryzgalov – who is currently on a tryout with the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers, for reference's sake – well, you have a problem. When you have a GM who lets Sergei Bobrovsky go to the Blue Jackets in exchange for picks and then trades for Steve Mason just to add insult to injury, you have questionable decision making skills. And when you start a season with a tandem of Mason and Ray Emery, who obviously benefited from being on the Chicago Blackhawks, and expect to contend, it has to be a joke.
This decision will do no good for the Flyers in the short term and will probably hurt them in the long. Right now, about the only thing the Flyers can do to write the ship is find a new general manager.