In a move that undoubtedly bothered beat writers, Paul Holmgren instructed players not to talk about Peter Laviolette’s firing to the media, presumably so they wouldn’t say something stupid or trash their former coach or current teammates:
But the Flyers front office didn’t mind being harsh.
Ed Snider: “I’ve been at 47 training camps and I’ve never seen one that I thought was worse.” [Frank Seravalli]
“That’s not talking about Peter. That’s talking about our players, and it carried right on over to the first three games of the season. It’s not simply the three games you saw. There’s more to it than that. Basically, there are a lot of things I know that are private. Bottom line is, I have great respect for Peter Laviolette. I’m sorry this has happened to him. He’s a class act. He’s done a great job for us. He got us to the Stanley Cup Finals, within a game of winning the damn thing.” [John Gonzalez]
“Unfortunately, my fears were realized in the first three games– scoring one goal in each game. And looking disorganized,” Snider added. “If it wasn’t for our goalies, I think it could have been a lot worse.” [Sam Carchidi]
Firing the coach was the next move because Snider said firing the players isn’t an option. “Show me a way to do that and we’ll be glad to do that instead,” Snider said. [Dave Isaac]
[You can, actually, do that. You can do it twice. But the Flyers already did that with Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere. You can only fire so many players without incurring a cap hit, boys.]
Paul Holmgren: “I know (Berube’s) ideas are different than Peter’s,” Holmgren said. “He likes to build his attack coming off good defense. We need to cut down on our scoring chances against. Somehow. Our goalies are under attack, and I think they’ve played well in the three games, but they’re under siege here and we’ve got to do a better job in our end.” [Dave Isaac]
Flyers Chief Craig Berube: “They need to understand that they don’t want to let their teammates down,” Berube said. “Don’t leave your goalie out to dry. Play a team game. All the time. Not some time. All the time.” [Dave Isaac]
Interestingly, the sentiment you get from hearing what was said today is that Laviolette had lost the team, that there was no accountability. Holmgren said Berube “demands respect, he’s a no BS kind of guy.” Besides that being the most generic endorsement you can give for a hockey manager (not unlike the way the Flyers evaluate talent), it’s also an indication that Laviolette wasn’t hard enough on players (or that players just didn’t care). Frankly, I never thought that would be Lavs’ undoing. He’s known for being a hardass. You might have assumed that it would’ve been his spastic management of his goalies, failure to have defensive players defend, up-tempo style, or something else somewhat more tangible. Certainly more tangible than there’s no fucking leadership and this team is a mess, which is the sense I got from today.
re: leadership: the Flyers traded a guy Snider once felt was the best leader he’d seen since Bobby Clarke. Now Claude Giroux appears to be in wayyyy over his head as captain.
They also traded their best natural goal scorer.
And a Vezina winner.
But hey, who keeps track of those sorts of things?