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Flyers GM Holmgren not thinking of firing Laviolette

Apr 15, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

Peter Laviolette, Paul Holmgren AP

It doesn’t sound like the Philadelphia Flyers will have a new head coach anytime soon.

Today in Montreal, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave his bench boss, Peter Laviolette, a public vote confidence, saying he doesn’t blame the coaches for the team’s disappointing season.

“Am I happy with the players and our season? No. Am I happy we’re not in the playoffs? No. But I think the coaches have done a good job under the circumstances,” Holmgren told The Inquirer.

Those circumstances included a number of key injuries, Holmgren pointed out.

Laviolette — who coached Carolina to a Stanley Cup title in 2006 — became the Flyers’ head coach in December of 2009. He led Philly to the finals that spring, and has seen the Flyers to the second round of the playoffs the past two years.

Holmgren, it should be noted, has also received a vote of confidence from his boss.

  1. buffalomafia - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    It’s not Philly’s coach you morons! It’s the goaltending! Get a goalie ex. Ryan Miller & Philly will be in contention again?!

    Then again how could a Philly team of last year be so young & good & crap to bed this year?

    Again make it happen & get a quality goalie!

    • tfaltin - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      They had a goalie. His name is Bob. Their problem is their phobia of defense, in terms of personnel and style of play, the latter of which I believe Lav could be fired for. Before I get jumped on for injuries, remember they let Carle go, and wouldn’t acquire Yandle because it would have cost Couturier. I think a big reason Lav isn’t on a hotter seat is because Homer realizes his own failures to build a team capable of keeping the puck out of the net. Good for him for being accountable on that.

      • hockeyfan28 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        carle last year was a disaster as the flyers would have been shelling out 30 million for their
        5th dman considering the top 4 of timmonen, mezaros,grossmann,and coburn in a salary cap era you can’t do that. The flyers problem is their farm system they don’t develop defensemen they have only one real bonafide d prospect in Gostisbehere but he’s two years away the farm system if anything needs an overall and some sort of direction

      • ryanrockzzz - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Bob had his chances in Philly and he couldn’t play well enough to keep the job.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        i think this part is the most important to why he’s not gonna fire Lavy: “Homer realizes his own failures to build a team capable of keeping the puck out of the net.” If he fires Lavy, and next season goes like this one, he’s next to be fired. Short leash in Philly.

    • DonkeyStick - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      Why don’t you worry about that train wreck of a team in Buffalo and count to 44 years without a cup.

  2. freneticgarfieldfan - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    The public vote of confidence is usually the first step for a pink slip.

  3. sippindasyzurp - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Ya so basically he is firing him at the end of the season

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Laviolette hasn’t done a very good job this season, but it’s hard to blame him when pretty much every player underachieves. The offense that essentially carried the club last season was abysmal this year. The defense and goaltending was equally terrible as well. Couple that with an inordinate amount of injuries and you have the recipe for a terrible season. If the team struggles again next season then make a coaching change, but I think Laviolette deserves another chance.

  5. jpelle82 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    laviolette has been good in his first seasons with every team he’s been on. he took the islanders to their first playoffs in several years, carolina won the se and the cup in his 2nd full year i think, and then he took philly to the finals in his 1st year. problem is he progressively gets worse the longer he stays. he’s getting some grace from holmgren it looks like but i dont think he has the players’ confidence.

  6. President Charles Logan - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    i think it’s a mistake to retain him for next year… its obvious that the players have tuned him out, is he a bad coach? heck no but it’s not working , obviously.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Who is this Pres. Charles Logan I’m seeing lately? have you flipped off of Flyers troll mode til next season starts… since they’re out of it this year?

      • President Charles Logan - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        not a flyer hater at all , not a pens fan either, just a neutral observer is all.

  7. oquintero99 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Would like for Holmgren to shake up the defensemen. Philly has a good core of offensive players and a relatively good goalie. The reason Bryz shined in Phoenix was because of Tippet’s defensive style of playing (same reason why Mike Smith is good over there). Get Bryz a better defense and he will be good. I’m kind of baffled why Holmgren hasn’t realized this sooner.

    • President Charles Logan - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      get over bryzgalov already he’s not ever going to be good in philadelphia

      • ibieiniid - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        I disagree with the thought that he CAN’T ever be good in Philly (with a bit of attn paid to defense), but he won’t make it long enough to show us otherwise. Idk what desperate, depraved team will sign him after a buyout…. but he’ll end up playing well in a backup role for some other team.

    • orangandblack - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      “a relatively good goalie”….getting super star money!!! I think the reason everyone wants Bryz gone has less to do with his slightly above average play, but the fact he’s getting paid so much to not make a bigger impact on games. There’s a dozen other goalies out there, who can be as good as Bryz, for far less money (i.e. Steven Mason)

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Well said. Can’t pay a player that much for mediocre results in the salary cap age.

  8. mj1818 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    They should as this year and next year are re-building years.

  9. myroncopesflask - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    As a Pens fan I prefer both the the Flyers and Pens to be playoff teams. It make our games even more intense and meaningful. Unless both Holmgren and Lavi get the boot I don’t think the Flyers will hold up their end of the rivalry. 1975

  10. fbothharbaughs - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Why should he fire Laviolette? After all, Holmgren’s the one who provided him w/the crap on the ice…

  11. isithockeyseasonyet - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Every time bob gets star of the week should be another nail in holmgren’s coffin, not laviolette’s

    • maalea - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      The problem was that Snyder wanted a name goalie. Bryz was the big name free agent that year.

      Homer could not keep both Bob and Bryz. So Bob had to go.

  12. operwapitsai - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    you know, in the latter of blame in an unsuccessful hockey season I think the goalie is at the bottom. geez flyer fans youve been throwing bryz to the curb all year! give him some support and get him some confidence and he will easily be among the best again ….man I would hate to play in philly. Bryz is great, the D sucks. simple as that.

  13. wisdomnfl - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I hope they keep Lav.

  14. drunk4thliners - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Of course I blame Lavy. This is precisely the type of year when the onus falls to the coach. Underachievers need a quality coach to motivate, instruct, or light a fire under them. The defense and goaltending needed a strong coach to develop a scheme that works if the first one didn’t. Leadership lacking? Wheres the coaching staff to get the veterans to do their jobs?! There was no accountability there, so that is why I hold Lavy responsible.

  15. myroncopesflask - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    They both need to go.. I’m not saying Lavi is a bad coach; bad coaches do not win a stanley cup. The Flyers need a complete change of philosophy if they have any hopes of seriously winning a cup. 1st they need to build a defensive foundation which is going to at least two drafts and smart F/A additions. After the team learns how to play D they can add the offense needed to compete. Holmgren has no real idea how to build a team. They could have Patty Roy in his prime but if they continue to try and instigate penalties and trade chances they are gonna get smoked.

    oh yeah.. 1975

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      What everyone seems to be overlooking here is that Holmgren DID build a defensive foundation. You would be hard pressed to find a defensive corps more complete than Pronger, Timonen, Coburn, Mezsaros, and Carle. That top-5 is easily better than the group the Pens have put on the ice over the past few seasons. People tend to consistently overlook that those defenders, coupled with the Flyers young core of forwards, would be a dangerous combination. The problem is that it’s almost impossible to lose a franchise defenseman and take a step forward. Despite what dissenters say, I will continue to make the point that the Flyers losing Pronger is the equivalent of the Bruins losing Chara to a career-ending injury. Now can Holmgren be blamed for failing to replace Pronger? Sure, but I think most in the hockey community would agree that finding a true #1 dman is more difficult than finding a franchise goalie. It is the premium position in the NHL. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Most experts thought Shea Weber was going to be in orange and black for the next decade. I understand you don’t get credit for the moves that fall through and the Flyers have been unable to develop quality dmen but I don’t think it’s fair to say Holmgren has no idea how to build a team. This offseason will be one of the most crucial in the history of the organization. Reserve judgement on Homer until we see how he handles the potential buyouts of Briere and/or Bryz, the use of a top-5 pick (most likely) in a deep draft, and the retooling of an injury plagued defense corps. He has shown he is adept at on the fly “retool” (following the 06-07 debacle and the Carter/Richards deals). Holmgren has made crucial mistakes in signing Bryz and trading Bob but I want to see what he does in response to this embarrassing season. Ed Snider does not take well to losing and Holmgren has a taste for big deals; that combination means potential fireworks this offseason. If the Flyers fail again next season then you can throw Holmgren and Laviolette to the curb.

      • President Charles Logan - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        77 i agree with alot of your rant here but matt carle was useless in his own end of the ice , a turnover machine .

      • ml3939 - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        I agree with President Logan regarding Matt Carle. He sucked and was carried by Pronger and a healthy Mezsaros. He is bad at both ends of the ice but must have an unlimited supply of compromising photos of the coaches and GM’s he has played for.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        I wont argue that Carle was a liability in his own zone, but when paired with Pronger he was able to focus on the offensive side of his game. And that’s where he is valuable. I think it was a smart move by Holmgren to not try to compete with Tampa’s ridiculous offer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t miss his outlet passes and acumen in the offensive zone. Overall, when Pronger was healthy, their defensive corps was one of the best 1 thru 5. Unfortunately, without him they’re one of the worst. I know you’re not a fan of Luke Schenn, pres logan, but he’s been a solid presence. And Grossmann might be the most underrated acquisition of the Holmgren era. Sadly Grossmann and Schenn don’t even come close to replacing Pronger.

  16. renberg19 - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I love how people on here are blaming Bryz. He played relatively well this year.

    I think the biggest disappointment this year for the Flyers (which ultimately could be traced to their scoring woes and lack of success) is Scott Hartnell. Why is he getting a pass by fans and “troll-ers”?

  17. bobhpine - Apr 15, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Pronger hasn’t played since 2011…Meszaros is always hurt…Timonen is overpaid and old…and the rest suck.

    I’ll take Letang, Orpik, Murray, Niskanen, Despres, Eaton, etc. though.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      You always seem to act as if Pronger’s injury shouldn’t factor into any equation with the Flyers. When he was healthy the Pens top-6 did not compare, now there’s no question Pittsburgh is better on the backend. But the Flyers blueline has been decimated by injury (and that includes Pronger). I mean Bruno Gervais, a 6-7 dman, has played huge minutes. Gustafsson, Foster, Lauridsen, and Huskins are all “integral” pieces right now. I’d like to see the Pens win with that group.

  18. President Charles Logan - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Yeah I am kind of wondering why Timonen got an extension like he did , he’s slowed downed alot .

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Well if you look at the FA market you’ll see why Timonen got the deal he did. Edler and Enstrom resigning killed the market. He’s overpaid (wish his cap hit was closer to $4mil) but the Flyers absolutely need him. He’s slowed but his positioning is excellent, which allows him to still be effective. Plus he’s still very productive in the offensive zone.

  19. myroncopesflask - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    1st of all once you start bringing up injuries you lose all cred.. If your entire team gets hurt in a bus accident or something talk about it. I could see if you lose 1 of the top 2 players in the league for some time. Or like the Pens last year Sid was out for the entire year or the year before when Sid and Geno both missed significant time at the same time. Even without key players for long periods of times the Pens never came close to missing the playoffs. So if you don’t think your coach has anything to do with it or the rest of the crap team Holmgren put together. How many years and how much money did he give Max Talbot? A 4th liner? He was a hero in Pittsburgh but you don’t give a 4th liner a deal longer than 2-3 years.. microcosm of your troubles in Philly…1975

  20. rgotoguy - Apr 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Philly fans need to call for Paul Holmgren’s head. He has made bad trades, doesn’t have the patience to allow young talent to develop unless your last names are Giroux or Schenn. Just look at the names he has let leave. He traded away the captain and fan favorite Mike Richards along with Jeff Carter to make room for Bryz. Snipers James Van Reimsdyke & Ville Leino but the one that hurts most right now; Vezina Trophy candidate Sergei Bobrovsky who has stood on his head in columbus this season. Voracek and Simmons (the bright spots) and aging players Boucher, Gagne, knuble and Fedetenko hardly make up for what has been lost in Philly.

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