Life After Lavi
It’s now been a day since Laviolette has been fired and now that my initial reaction is cleared it’s time to talk.
On the most obvious side. Firing someone after three games is laughable in an 82 game season. Not only does it screw up any semblance of stability that the team might have, but it also means the Flyers could have gone after a number of coaches that were available in the offseason. Now we’ll have to see what comes of Craig Berube in his first stint as an NHL coach.
*If you’re looking for some background on him, Broad Street hockey did a great piece on him as usual.
Laviolette is a guy whose style is like Doug Collins. He comes in and maximizes the talent on the roster for a few seasons before wearing thin. That’s what Lavi did here and in Carolina and, like Collins, no one is complaining about his firing based on merit. The team was growing stale and the system wasn’t adapting. Game over.
The biggest concern for me comes from the comments Ed Snider made. It’s been obvious for a long time that the team has been trying to win one for Snider before he drops dead in a pile of money, but damn that was a tough press conference to swallow. When asked about getting a new perspective in the organization Snider flipped a shit:
“We haven’t won a championship, but we’ve been to the Stanley Cup finals a lot of the time and we’ve been in the playoffs a lot of times. The culture is to win. Thirty teams are trying to win the Cup and we’re doing our damnedest to do it. That’s our culture. That’s our culture! … We don’t need a fresh perspective. We have a pretty good culture and we know who we’re dealing with.”
Remind you of the Banner/Reid/Mornhinweg combo a little?
You know who else it reminds me of? Al Davis. That’s not to say the Flyers are going to be in the same miserable hell hole that the Raiders have been in for seemingly forever now, but there’s a fundamental flaw that comes with believing you have all of the answers when you haven’t been able to seal the deal since my dad was in college.
Which is why, regardless of how this all turns out, there’s one shining belief to have in the organization: Ron Hextall. Hextall is obviously waiting to take the GM position. There’s no other reason to make a lateral move from a Cup winning organization he helped build and sit behind Paul Holmgren in Philly. He wants to run the show. Hextall is considered ready for the position, he has a winning pedigree as a player and assistant GM, and fits in with Snider’s need for Orange and Black incest.
So, in the major scope here, Holmgren may have signed his own death warrant by firing Lavi. If this season is a disaster, Holmgren will get the boot because there’s no one left to blame (Looking at you Ruben Amaro) and this team can finally build a more stable contender rather than the high stakes game of musical chairs they’ve been playing.
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