Oct 7, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Too much jam?
Boy if this isn’t beginning to sound like Ken Hitchcock all over again. Hitch, you may remember, was fired just eight games into the 2006-07 season, after he had reportedly lost his locker room, particularly young building blocks like Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.
Bob Clarke also resigned/was removed that day as general manager. Paul Holmgren, who replaced him, did manage to survive Monday.
Following this morning’s press conference, Ed Snider admitted that this wasn’t all Laviolette’s fault, and even frankly stated he would have fired the players instead of the coach if only that were possible. Quote:
“That’s not talking about Peter. That’s talking about our players, and it carried right on over to the first three games of the season. It’s not simply the three games you saw. There’s more to it than that. Basically, there are a lot of things I know that are private.
So, someone asked Snider, you fire the coach because you can’t get rid of the players?
“Right,” Snider replied. “You show me a way to do that, we’ll be glad to do that instead.”
Sound familiar? Here’s an excerpt from the AP’s Hitchcock/Clarke post-mortem back in ’06:
Snider acknowledged the Flyers had tuned out Hitchcock and his demanding style.
“I knew what went on and I feel that’s an unfair statement,” Hitchcock said.
As for what happened with Laviolette, this back-and-forth ESPN chat from Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside paints a familiar picture:
Pierre LeBrun: I do know Berube is beloved by the players and I think that’s where it has to start: re-establishing a trusting relationship between the players and the coach. A source told me Monday morning that Laviolette and the players were no longer on the same page, and that’s not shocking when you saw how they played in the opening three games. The players seemed to be waiting for the coach to be fired. It makes you wonder why the Flyers didn’t make this change last spring, after the Flyers missed the playoffs.
I believe one factor in Laviolette’s firing was an organizational concern that some young players on the team — namely Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn — were not developing properly, or as rapidly as anticipated. The Flyers traded away Carter and Richards because they truly believed Couturier and Schenn were capable of supporting star center Giroux as the team redeveloped its core. It just hasn’t worked out that way so far.
The coach is out in less than 10 games, because he lost the locker room, particularly the young kids who aren’t developing fast enough. For what it’s worth, Schenn is 22 and Couturier 20.
Ed Snider doesn’t feel like the Flyers need a “fresh perspective,” but history only seems to repeat itself with this franchise. With any luck, 2013-14 won’t turn out like 2006-07, the worst season in franchise history.
That campaign led them to lose a coin flip to the Chicago Blackhawks for the rights to the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft — Patrick Kane. The consolation prize, James van Riemsdyk, didn’t develop the way the Flyers wanted either. Neither did the future Vezina goaltender they gave up on after a promising rookie season.
Flyers fans may be tired of rehashing the past, but it’s a part how this team got to where it is.
And here we are on a rainy Monday in Philadelphia.
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