With the Philadelphia Flyers season being somewhat of a flop this year, fans and the Philadelphia media alike have been questioning if head coach Peter Laviolette will stay with the organization come next season.
According to reports from Flyers’ beat writers, it looks more than likely that Laviolette will be returning to the team next season. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said he thinks Laviolette will be back next season, so it looks like he is here to stay for now. We do have to be weary of what comes out of Holmgren’s mouth, since it has been questioned before when he lied about going to trade Jeff Carter. So even though “for now” Laviolette is staying on as the head coach that might change come the offseason.
Holmgren is not the only member of the organization that has spoken up emphasizing that Laviolette is sure to stay on as the coach. Winger Wayne Simmonds defended his coach by saying that he doesn’t think Laviolette is at fault since he is not the one playing every night.
Simmonds has a point, but at the same time their coach needs to be held accountable for his leadership. With how the Flyers fired John Stevens in the beginning of the 2009-2010 season, it would not be a surprise if Laviolette does get the axe soon.
I’m not sure what makes Laviolette untouchable to the Flyers management. For awhile, their fans were on board with Laviolette being a coach who could do no wrong. But after this horrible season, he has been facing a lot of criticism. In hockey when a team is not winning — especially a team that typically excels — that’s when someone gets fired.
So will the Flyers head coach be fired this year? Right now it seems unlikely, but it also seems unlikely that this team will miraculously make the playoffs. While Holmgren is claiming that he still wants Laviolette leading his team, he may be singing a different tune come May.