Peter Laviolette, the fiery coach whose Flyers grew progressively worse after he directed them to an improbable run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, was fired Monday and replaced with one of his assistants, Craig Berube.
"I’m not going to let the players off the hook," general manager Paul Holmgren said at news conference at the Wells Fargo Center. "Things have to get better and they will."
After serving parts of five seasons with the Flyers, the coach who implored his team to play with "jam" was jammed out the door following a 0-3 start this season. He had a 145-98-29 record since being hired early in the 2009-2010 season.
In 2013, the Flyers missed the playoffs for just the second time in the last 18 seasons.
"I really wasn’t happy with last year, but we blamed it on a lot of issues; we thought those issues were valid and thought Peter deserved an opportunity," said Ed Snider, chairman of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.
Snider said he received a call from Holmgren late Sunday — after the Flyers’ 2-1 loss in Carolina, the team Laviolette once coached to the Stanley Cup — and that he "approved" the GM’s decision to replace the coach.
Snider said he thought the Flyers’ performance in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season was "an anomaly. He’s a great coach, a great guy; he works his butt off. But I thought our training camp, quite frankly, was one of the worst training camps I’ve ever seen."
Oilers 5, Devils 4 • Jordan Eberle and David Perron scored in the shootout for host Edmonton, which erased a three-goal deficit in the third period against goalie Martin Brodeur and beat New Jersey.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Andrew Ference, Perron, and Taylor Hall all scored their first of the season in a 7:47 span to make it 4-3. But despite getting a power play with 2:51 left in regulation, the Oilers (1-2) couldn’t hold on for a regulation win.
While the Devils were still a man down, New Jersey pulled Brodeur for an extra skater, and Patrik Elias netted the tying short-handed goal with 54 seconds remaining.
Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal for the Devils (0-1-2).
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