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Holmgren hasn’t ‘even thought about’ firing Laviolette

Mar 14, 2013, 4:45 PM EDT

Peter Laviolette and Paul Holmgren Getty Images

With the Flyers falling further and further out of the playoff picture, general manager Paul Holmgren gave his head coach, Peter Laviolette, a vote of confidence today.

When asked if Laviolette was on the hot seat — a notion that only gained momentum with Philadelphia’s lackluster performance and loss last night in New Jersey — Holmgren replied he didn’t think so.

“The coaches have done a good job,” said Holmgren, per “Right now, our team needs to play better. We’re making a lot of mistakes. A lot from our lack of competitiveness. Our team needs to compete better. I don’t like the way we’re playing right now, but I don’t necessarily blame that on the coach.”

Holmgren added that he hadn’t “even thought about” firing Laviolette — “You guys keep asking these questions about the coach and it hasn’t even entered my mind.”

If Holmgren blames anyone for the team’s win-loss record, it’s the players — “They’re the ones on the ice.”

The Flyers are on the ice again tomorrow at home to New Jersey. With just 20 games to go and a whole lot of ground to make up, they can’t afford another stinker.

Related: Flyers have to get their ‘swagger, mojo’ back

  1. steelers88 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Well that defiantly means his firing Laviolette. I think.

  2. orangandblack - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Well than what is the fix for this “lack of competitiveness”?

    • sheckyrimshot - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      at the end of practice you cant leave the ice until you fight holmgren

  3. ikillchicken - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I don’t see why he should. It’s not Laviolette’s fault that their defence is thinner than a Micheal Bay movie’s plot. Or that despite trading valuable resources and committing to a massive, long term cap hit, they still don’t have a solid goaltender.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      Totally agree, this firing coach thing is old going back to Bill Barber ! Homer got the coach who can get this done now its Homers job and the coaches to weed out the bums ! Iam all for Homer being the GM also ! This organization is in good hands with Lavy and Homer ! If more guys hit the ice like Talbot ,Renaldo, Hartnell and Jakup V this team would be a handfull !

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    WARNING: USS PUMPKIN PATCH is sinking quickly from the playoff picture. Id love to see lavy go maybe Holmgren will trade some more stars away like Richards and Carter who will win a Stanley Cup before the Flyers do again. Seeing the Flyers miss the playoffs would make my day along with the rest of Pittsburgh. LETS GO PENS!!!

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Iam sure it would make your day,,, you would not want to see the underdog flyers bounce your pick to win the cup pens for the second year in a row now would ya ! You not being a wise guy ,,,you scared ! Don’t worry the flyers will miss the post season but if they do make it, it would be the 8 th spot witch would be a direct collision coarse with your pens ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,BOO!

  5. sgtr0c - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    If it isn’t the coach’s fault, and it is the player’s fault, then who’s job is it to get the players? C’mon, man, be a better gm!

  6. pdmjr - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Who signed the goalie and traded “bobs” to Cbus?

    • ml3939 - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      I believe Ed Snyder’s hands are all over the Bryz signing. I think if they knew the amnesty clause would have been a lock for the new CBA, they would have kept Bob. Without the amnesty clause, he was too expensive to keep as a back up with Bryz making all that money. Holmgren has done a very good job as GM. He cleaned up Bob Clarke’s mess from 2006-7 immediately upon taking over.

      • sgtr0c - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        …from 2006-7 immediately upon taking over, only to watch what he build fall apart this season. There is no cup to prove he has done good, there is no cup/playoffs anytime soon. He used the dirt from his hole to fill Clark’s, now there is no dirt left. These players and GM are not the anwser, the coach is probably the best thing on the Flyers.

      • ml3939 - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        I hate to just cut and paste but here is my argument for Holmgren from a previous article-

        I think Holmgren has done a very good job regardless (edited for the uneducated bobhpiningforattention) of how this season turns out. He immediately corrected that disgraceful 06-07 team. He stole Coburn from Atlanta. Picked up Timmonen and Hartnell for a draft pick. He signed Briere. Traded for Umberger who was productive while he was here. Traded for Pronger. Picked up Leino for nothing. Signed Bob as a free agent. Signed Matt Read. Got Mez for the oft injured Gagne. Made a killing in the deals for Richards and Carter. Negatives- signing Shelley, Lilja and Gervais to multiyear deals (obviously low money), trading for Versteeg (though he recouped some of the value back dealing him to FLA), signing Bryz (but I think this was Snyder’s move, not his, so ultimately I do not hold this one against him. I think it’s too early to judge the JVR-Schenn deal (I think JVR will ultimately be more valuable but offense is not one of the Flyers’ weaknesses).

        It is a little to early to judge his drafts but Couturier, Laughton, McGinn, Cousins, Stolarz, Gostisbehere and Bourdon appear to be productive and potential NHL talent. For all of the criticism he receives, Rinaldo is proving to be very valuable in his current role. He also drafted JVR and Sbisa.

        I am also ecstatic he did not resign Matt Carle. His stats are very misleading. To put it technically, he stinks.

        In his tenure of GM, they have made the playoffs in every full season he has been here and been out of the first round all but once. I believe Detroit is the only other team that can make that same claim.

        Holmgren is not to blame for the current failures and deserves the right fix this team or let its pieces develop as he sees fit.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 14, 2013 at 10:03 PM

        ml3939, You are spot on! I agree with everything you said. Holmgren has done a superb job maneuvering this franchise. And if not for the devastating Pronger injury coupled with the Bryzgalov signing he’d be considered one of the best GM’s in the league. I don’t think they should fire the coach or the GM, and I don’t think they will.

      • sgtr0c - Mar 14, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        There is just no way that this offense can score enough to over come the defense. And no matter if every bad deal was Synder’s fault and every injury was a fluke, this team cannot beat play-off teams. It is kinda-a-little PH’s fault.

      • ml3939 - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:24 AM

        I attributed one move to Snyder. I did not mention Pronger’s injury but an injury to a player of that caliber is pretty devastating. He is a sure fire hall of famer who when it matters plays nearly half of the game. That is irreplaceable. I see little fault in what Holmgren has done to this point.

        I think they have numerous compounded factors working against them this season- they have had their share of injuries, they are highly dependent on youth (which lends itself to inconsistent play), they have implemented a new defensive system in a season with no preseason (probably not the best way to do something at this level but somewhat of a necessity if they want to be successful come playoff time- if they make it) and they until recently played more games than any other team. These are not excuses, just facts. If they fail like this next year then it is obvious that there is a bigger problem and changes will be necessary. I think any sort of overhaul (besides trading, more likely amnestying Bryz and/or Briere) would be extremely shortsighted.

  7. President Charles Logan - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    if the coach cant reach the players then who’s fault is it? if the players seem to have “tuned the coaching staff out” then who’s fault is it? , if the team constantly comes out flat in the first period of crucial games then who’s fault is it? ,
    face it , they arent playing hard enough or passionate for this guy anymore , it was a decent quick fix a few years ago but enough is enough already

  8. philly4lyfe - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    I think it’s time. they just don’t seem to be responding to lavy anymore. they say the message from coaches with a style like him and torts tends to wear off after a few seasons. and I will be shocked if bryz isn’t amnestied at the end of the year. not sayin its all his fault, but if he’s in his prime now, its only gonna get worse from here and 7 years is a long time.

  9. chanceoffleury1 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Holmgren should be less worried about Laviolette and more worried about keeping grip on his own job. He’s let some REALLY solid free agents walk, on top of a couple recent bad trades/signings. A guy like Jagr was great for such a young team. They should go after another Jagr-type journeyman, that can also still solidly contribute.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      seeing as how he said he isn’t worried about Lavy at all, I’ll assume that he IS more worried about his own job.

  10. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    He’s probably not thinking about Laviolette, he’s probably wondering what his own future holds. I wouldn’t fire either though. I think you give them both another season to see if this is just a fluke. Right now, with the new lottery system, the Flyers will have a chance at Seth Jones (albeit small, most likely) or other top prospects in a deep draft. Let Holmgren run the draft, add more young talent to a youth filled core, and give him free reign to amnesty Bryz, Briere, or both. Clear that huge amount of cap space and make a run at Jonathan Bernier and maybe Byfluglien, if he’s on the block (there have been rumors). This team is not far from being a top-notch playoff team. If they add a top D prospect in the draft, and somehow swing trades for a real goalie and another defender they’re right back in the Stanley Cup discussion next year. I understand that’s a lot to do but Holmgren has shown that he’s not averse to pulling off shocking trades, even simultaneously. This year has been a bust but it’s not like a full rebuild is necessary. The Flyers are closer to a playoff team than not. So give Lavy and Homer a pass, if they fail next year then clean house.

  11. 5hole26 - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    hey phillyphan77, nsync said it best right? bye bye bye!!!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      By far the most clever thing you’ve ever posted. Congratulations my slow-witted friend.

  12. 2jivecrew - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I don’t want him fired. It’s too much fun watching his tantrums when his team is losing. He makes Jim Harbaugh look completely reserved.

    • 950003cups - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      So I’m not the only one who thinks Jim Harbaugh is a total tool?

  13. pwilson264 - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    yea rt Peter Laviolettes job is safe if they keep going down am sure Paul Holmgrens brotherly love will disappear will quick. pink slip time.

  14. 950003cups - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I see a of Pens fans are rubbing it in ever chance they get. It wasn’t that long ago when they sucked as well. They were bankrupt a while back, and geting Crosby required the #1 pick aka LAST PLACE.

    There’s no pride in watching a teams fan base deal with this. Devils had the same start 2 years ago, and IT SUCKED! Even Lundqvist was trying to say nice things about the Devils and that they’ll turn it around soon. THAT WAS EVEN MORE AGITATING! But then alas, he was right. In came Jacques Lemaire! Out went the #1 pick! In came the lottery win??? LOL

    Flyers fans: Hang in there. Not worth a coaching change with 22 games left on the schedule. Give him a shot next season. If the team falls apart again, then Holmboy should fire him and himself.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      Thank god someone uses logic on this site. You’re absolutely right. Why would you fire your coach AND GM in an odd shortened season. That would be a shortsighted move. They both deserve a chance to make things right with another season. This is the first real adversity theyve had to deal with since Holmgren took over and hired Laviollette. They’ve earned atleast another year. If they fail next season then clean house in the front office. But I have faith that Holmgren will do what’s necessary in the offseason to make this team a legitimate contender again. And for me, it starts in net. Do whatever it takes to pry Bernier from LA and amnesty Bryz. Or maybe sign Ben Bishop as a FA. And if you need to clear cap space to acquire a stud dman then amnesty Briere too. There will be plenty of ways of making this team better (including a deep draft). Don’t start blowing up unnecessary parts.

      And you’re absolutely right about Pens fans dancing on our graves, and they can do that crap all they want, but next year I know the Flyers will be back and more dangerous than before. And by that time the Pens will have already been eliminated by some second rate team as they start to realize you can’t win a cup trying to outscore everybody 7-5. The Pens will not win the Cup and the second they’re eliminated you’ll see a mass exodus of the usual suspects leaving PHT never to return. Or wait no, they’ll be back as soon as their team makes it to 1st place next season, but not a second sooner.

      • DonkeyStick - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        As a fellow Flyers fan I say…SHUT UP and don’t argue with any team that has won the cup in your lifetime.

      • bobhpine - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        Yeah. The Flyers will “be back” just like that. All the players who suck will just get good, there will be a few magical trades and free agent signings and poof, the Flyers will be awesome.

        Back on planet Earth, I wouldn’t count on it dude. You’re right up against the cap, you’re still paying Pronger until 2017, Bryz until 2020, Timonen is getting 6 mil for some unknown reason, and your captain, Fraud Giroux, isn’t very good anymore.

        Stop worrying about catching the Penguins. Right now, keeping pace with the Islanders is enough of a chore for you people.


      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        bobhpine, it’s not about the players who “suck” getting good, it’s about the good players that we already have playing to their potential. This years Flyers are built from top to bottom with players who have underachieved. THEY HAVE THE TALENT to be a playoff team, any rational Pittsburgh fan would agree, they just can’t seem to stay in position and stop turning the puck over, or get the goaltending they need. But there is no massive overhaul needed to get this team back in the playoffs. I am fully confident that with a few tweaks in the off-season this team will be back in the playoffs next year, no problem. I don’t think that’s such an outlandish observation. The parity in the NHL makes it so that different teams are making the playoffs each and every year. Montreal went from a team in total disarray, couldn’t beat a pee-wee team, to now this year, competing for the top spot in the East. No matter how much you disparage the Flyers or act as if I’m some jackass who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, it’s not hard to see that this organization has the talent to atleast be a playoff team. They haven’t played up to the level that that talent would dictate, but that doesn’t mean it is non-existent. If the Flyers finish out of the playoffs they will have a small chance at winning the lottery, which means Seth Jones could potentially be wearing Orange and Black next year. Now, it’s unlikely, but no matter what the Flyers are going to add another young and talented piece to an already talented core. They will have several big choices to make during the off-season, such as: amnesty Bryz, Briere, or both. If they amnesty both it would take almost $12 million off the books (not including Prongers $4.9 LTIR exception). That money would allow them to try several different things, including attempting to trade for Jonathon Bernier, which is plausible for several reasons. 1) He is a restricted FA, so they could potentially extend an offer sheet, or 2) work out a trade because LA does not have the cap space to pay two #1 goalies, and 3) Dean Lombardi has an extensive history of working out deals with the Flyers. If they don’t acquire Bernier, there’s also Ben Bishop in the FA market. So either way the Flyers could seriously upgrade their goaltending. On top of that, there have already been numerous rumors circulating about a Couturier-Byflugien deal. If that went down or the Flyers acquired another top-2 defender, they are two-fold better than this season. Obviously this is all hypothetical but my point is that it would not take all that much for the Flyers to return to form next season. You would’ve been hard pressed to find a writer or pundit who didn’t believe the Flyers would be a top-5 team in the East this season. That should be an easy indicator that there is talent on this team. But relying on youth in so many key areas can lead to inconsistencies, which is precisely what has happened this season. So if Holmgren can make a few changes then this team is right back to last seasons level if not a notch above, depending on the exit of Bryzgalov and rebound by certain players. I find it laughable that because the Flyers have struggled this season, Bobhpine and other select Flyers haters have deemed them a talentless bunch of hacks with no upside and no future, when, in fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is a solid core that dominated the Pens in the playoffs last season and now suddenly, in the eyes of Pens fans, this is the Blue Jackets. Its ridiculous. Like I said they are simply a few key moves from being a legitimate contender. And I think any pundit or hockey writer would tell you the same.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM

        Like ml3939 says above, if you wanna see how well Holmgren and the Flyers can retool a team take a look at the heist he pulled following the 06-07 travesty and the few years after:

        “He immediately corrected that disgraceful 06-07 team. He stole Coburn from Atlanta. Picked up Timmonen and Hartnell for a draft pick. He signed Briere. Traded for Umberger who was productive while he was here. Traded for Pronger. Picked up Leino for nothing. Signed Bob as a free agent. Signed Matt Read. Got Mez for the oft injured Gagne. Made a killing in the deals for Richards and Carter.” etc, etc.

        Holmgren may have missed terribly with the Bryzgalov signing but that was driven by the hand of Ed Snider. Otherwise, Holmgren has done an excellent job of identifying weakness and correcting that weakness without mortgaging the future. If there’s one GM who has the balls to make the necessary changes to put this struggling team back into the playoffs, it’s Paul Holmgren. He has the massive fortune of Ed Snider backing him up and if they do the right move and amnesty both Bryzgalov and Briere they will have a nice chunk of change to play with. And nobody makes big moves like the Flyers with cap space.

      • bobhpine - Mar 14, 2013 at 10:50 PM

        What happened to Pronger wasn’t bad luck. That was a risky deal from the beginning as all 35+ contracts are. The Bryz signing was also moronic from the get go. All that money and all those years for a guy who did what exactly? All of these trades and all of these moves are just producing teams that continue to not win.

        Alex Goligoski for James Neal and Matt Niskanen. Ryan Whitney’s carcass for Chris Kunitz. Jordan Staal for Brandon Sutter and a first and second round pick to the only team that Staal would go to. Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and Angelo Esposito for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis. Bill Guerin for a third round pick.

        Those are deals that dramatically make a team better. Mike Richards for Simmonds and Schenn? Jeff Carter for Voracek? Those are parallel moves. B level players for B level players (C level in Schenn’s case).

        Who exactly is outplaying his contract on the Flyers? That’s the measure of a good GM. Shero has the current number two goal scorer in the league for 3.5 mil (Kunitz). Who is doing that on the flyers?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        Everyone knows the risk of an over-35 contract but that, in no way, changes the fact that his loss was a stroke of bad luck. If Pronger is healthy, on the ice, this team has a completely different dynamic. It would be like taking Shea Weber out of the Nashville lineup or Chara out of Boston. You don’t think those teams would be a shell of themselves without their general, the player that makes the team go in 5-on-5 and on special teams? The loss of that presence is something you cannot plan for and there’s almost nothing you can do to replace them. It has had a major negative effect on the franchise since the day it happened.

        As for the other moves that Holmgren has made… you’re completely wrong. Did you see the 22-win season in 06-07? Because I did. I sat through every game and the moves Holmgren has made since then have hardly been lateral. To acquire Hartnell and Timonen, two all-stars, for a 1st round pick that was Nashville’s originally is beyond a steal. Giving up Lupul and Sbisa for a hall of fame defenseman in Pronger. Trading two locker room distractions (sometimes cancers) in Richards and Carter for four young difference-makers (Voracek, Simmonds, Schenn, and Couturier) is not a lateral move. Those four guys will be core forwards for the next decade, barring trades. Yes, Shero has made some great acquisitions but so has Holmgren. You know what the difference is between the two though? How about losing for so long that you are able to BUILD a franchise around players that fall in your lap. The acquisitions of Niskanen, Neal, Kunitz, Dupuis, etc have all been great… but at the end of the day those guys are not what makes the Penguins what they are. What established the Pens was the drafting of Whitney, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Fleury, not the moves Shero has made. Yes, he traded Whitney and then eventually Staal, but THOSE guys were THE foundation of your Stanley Cup. Sure, Guerin and the others played their part, but it was Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Fleury that made that team. And picking those guys required little to no foresight or scouting prowess. Malkin and Crosby were once in a generation players. I’ll give the Pens credit for finding Letang later in the draft, that was a hell of a pick. But Holmgren has never had the luxury of picking in the top-5 for five straight years. Shero had this generations Gretzky fall into his lap. He had the best Russian in the game fall into his lap. He had one of the best two-way forwards in the game, in Staal, fall into his lap. And he sure as hell didn’t have to attempt to go out and find a franchise goaltender. He had the luxury of picking his franchise goalie with the first overall pick. So before you go preaching to me about how much of genius Shero is and how idiotic Holmgren, take a look at the heart of your roster. The only player the Flyers have had the benefit of drafting top-5 in the past 20 years is JVR. And that year we got screwed out of Patrick Kane. Your franchise had their entire core handed to them based on years of futility. Holmgren has had to build a roster by picking in the 20’s, signing necessary free agents, and making hockey deals. Im not trying to take anything away from Shero, he’s pulled off some heist’s, but you can’t just gloss over the fact that what got you your latest Cup, more than his transactions, was picking top-2 for four consecutive years.

  15. ironman721 - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Don’t like the guy but don’t think he should get 🔥either.

  16. 5hole26 - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    BYE BYE BYEEE. lance bass loves the flyers

  17. 5hole26 - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    whooaaa theres the flyers gm phanatic77 again. great insight on the slunkin flygirls. well give em hell next year attitude is fanatastic. hows that neck feel after jumping off the bandwagon. hope you didnt get too hurt bro…

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      dude enough, there was no bandwagon to jump on or off of. And why the hell would my neck, of all places, hurt after jumping off something?? Makes a TON of sense. I watch every Flyers game and will continue to do so, no matter the record. But I mean you’re one of the many Flyers haters who keeps telling us the season is over, etc., so why not look to the future? And If I read the article correctly it’s one that pertains greatly to the future of the Flyers organization. Keep trolling, bro.

      • ironman721 - Mar 14, 2013 at 11:31 PM

        This was a cluster of a shortened season after all the draining drama of the lockout. Coaches, GMs, and hockey teams are not designed for this crapfest of a season. Injuries early and often really slowed this team down. Can’t blame the coach for that. If the flyers come out and lay an egg next year, then fire the guy but no coach should be punished for a poorly managed CBA battle that eliminated most chances of coming back from a slow start.

  18. phlyerzpwnu - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Penguins suck, get out of here trolls!

    I wouldn’t have a problem with Lavi getting canned…in fact, I’m for it.

  19. hockeyfan28 - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    One thing particularly Penguins fans will never understand is there are no bandwagon flyers fans
    in 2007 when they where team the worst team in the league they had one of the top attendances
    we will be back and Holmgren better watch his job instead of just worrying about Lavy’s

  20. phlyerzpwnu - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Really? You think Giroux isn’t good anymore?
    Actually yeah, maybe you’re right. He hasn’t been the same since Crosby hacked his wrists…maybe that’s it.
    I just can’t watch when we are this bad…ugh! It’s so frustrating! I guess letting Richards and Carter leave was a mistake..

    • 2jivecrew - Mar 14, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      Interesting that Crosby’s faceoff % was up near 60% in that series given how much he was supposedly hacking at G’s wrists. lol

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:43 AM

        That 60% really must have helped him out on the golf course. Effing troll.

  21. mj1818 - Mar 15, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    He should and also just completely start from scratch.

  22. garryjercia - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Kiss of death

  23. Anthony Maiorana - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Reblogged this on Evening the Score.

  24. deathmonkey41 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM


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