Update: We got sources (and a possible replacement)! From the Philadelphia Daily News
The Flyers have fired coach John Stevens, the Daily News has learned.I am certainly surprised that the Flyers were this quick to pull the trigger, but at the same time, Stevens has always been inconsistent like this and their recent streak being losing 6 of their last 7 games including being shut out 2 times in a row, I guess I should not be as surprised as I am. This is a team that is predicted by many to contend for and even win a Stanley Cup this year and if the playoffs started today, they would not be in the picture.
An announcement is expected later this evening with a press conference to follow at the Wachovia Center.
No official word on a successor. TSN is reporting that the Flyers have received permission from the Carolina Hurricanes to speak to Peter Laviolette and that he will be the next coach.
With a record of 13-11-1, the Flyers are tied for 10th place in the Eastern Conference - the farthest they have fallen in the standings since November 2008. They have lost six of their last seven and play Washington on Saturday the Wachovia Center.
Once the league's most potent offense, scoring at a 3.6 goals-per-game clip, the Flyers have gone eight consecutive periods without a goal. Thursday night’s 3-0 loss to Vancouver marked the first time they have been shut out in back-to-back games since Minnesota built a brick wall in front of their net on Feb. 10-12, 2003.
As far as his rumored replacement goes in Peter Laviolette, he tends to be a little inconsistent himself, but he has won a Stanley Cup and after taking some time to serve as an analyst at TSN after his Carolina firing, I guess he is ready to back in the biz of coaching. While I am disappointed that Stevens could not keep any consistency, I am looking forward to what Peter Laviolette (if those rumors are true) has to offer for this team and the direction he decided to take them in.
Update 2: It's official. Peter Laviolette is the new coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. From NHL.com
The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have named Peter Laviolette head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and relieved John Stevens of his duties, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.I'm pretty sure it was just yesterday that I said that I am not sure who the Flyers could bring in that would help the team start winning some games while maintaining a similar attitude, yet I the more I read about him today, the more I do see Laviolette being that guy. He can manage the finesse needed to score with the grit and toughness that is a symbol of Flyers hockey and I see nothing but improvements for this team down the stretch. I've read that he might make his debut as soon as tomorrow against the Capitals, so that should be good times for all, especially seeing as Laviolette used to coach with Carolina, division rival of said Capitals.
"I know this was a very difficult decision for Paul to make. And, I really feel bad for John because he's been a terrific long-time member of our organization," said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. "I was hoping that the team would play better and that this could have been avoided, but after last night's game, I think Paul felt he had to make this change. I make it a policy never to overrule my general manager, because once I do, it means I've lost confidence in him. I really want to wish John the best."
“John has always been a member of the Flyers family, and always will, and that’s why this was a very hard decision for us to make,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter A. Luukko. “He was drafted by the Flyers and literally grew up within our organization. He won a Calder Cup with the Phantoms, both as a player and as our coach. He then became an assistant coach of the Flyers and eventually our head coach. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
“This was a very difficult decision for me to make given my relationship with John. I want to thank him for his service to the Flyers organization over the years. However, in watching the team over the past few weeks I felt a new voice was needed in order to get us out of this and in the direction we expect,” said Holmgren. “Peter Laviolette brings experience along with a different approach to the game. We look forward to him putting his stamp on the team quickly and getting our team headed in the right direction.”
"Obviously this is a great opportunity. I am really excited,” said Laviolette. “The Flyers are an organization that has a lot of tradition and a lot of history. This is just an exciting time for me and my family and we are really looking forward to it."
Laviolette, 45, is the 17th head coach in Flyers history and joins Philadelphia after spending parts of five seasons as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes (2003-04 to 2008-09), where he compiled a 167-122-34 record in 323 games. In 2005-06, he led the Hurricanes to a 52-22-8 regular season record finishing first place in the Southeast Division and setting franchise records in wins (52) and points (112) in a single season. In the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, Laviolette guided Carolina to a 16-9 record and their first Stanley Cup Championship, when they defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 3-1, in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final on June 19, 2006. He was also named a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL Coach of the Year in 2006.