Kukla's Korner Hockey
via a Philadelphia Flyers press release...
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced this morning that Dave Hakstol has been named the 19th head coach in Flyers history.
“Dave brings a wealth of head coaching experience and success to the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” said Hextall. “He’s a proven winner and we are pleased to have him become part of the Flyers family.”
“I am extremely excited to be named the Philadelphia Flyers new head coach,” said Hakstol. “Through the process here with Ron [Hextall] and everybody in the Flyers organization I have gained even more of an understanding of the history and tradition of this organization and I’m very proud to become part of the Philadelphia Flyers today.”
from Tom Dougherty of CSNPhilly,
We should be talking about process with the Flyers. Hextall has a plan, and it’s building a winner for years to come. It’s about building a team that can win Stanley Cups, not a Stanley Cup. He’s not about going all-in for one run that we’ve seen fail so many times here with the Flyers.
Hextall understands the importance of having a farm system. He understands the importance of developing players. He understands trading young guys for old guys doesn’t work as often as we believe.
His process includes smart, cap-friendly contracts and excludes signing the Vinny Lecavaliers of the world that leave you strapped against the cap with an aging player and an immovable contract.
It requires backing of the ownership, and Hextall has it. Ed Snider supported Hextall’s decision to fire Craig Berube. On Tuesday, Snider told the Philadelphia Inquirer: "We’re going to be extremely patient with all of the young players we have coming.
"He’s going to do everything in his power to produce a winner as soon as possible, which means it could be trades, it could be coaching, it could be all kinds of things."
As soon as possible doesn’t mean tomorrow. Snider used “extremely patient” when he as talking about young players. Those words used to never come out of Snider’s mouth. It’s a sign Snider believes in the process, and it’s an indicator that the Flyers indeed do have a plan.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
There are guys who plant the seeds and there are guys who harvest the crops. Babcock and Julien? They’re harvesters. And right now what this team needs more than anything is a planter.
The Flyers are, conservatively, two or three years away from being a competitive team. That’s the time frame needed to develop Robert Hagg and Shayne Gostisbehere and Samuel Morin and Mark Alt into reliable NHL defenders, and to figure out where Taylor Leier and Nick Cousins and Petr Straka fit into the picture up front.
It’s going to be a group that requires patience during the next few years, and also the finesse to meld those kids into a core that includes established veterans like Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
That’s where a nurturer like Terry Murray might fit in.
from the Philadelphia Flyers,
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall held a conference call with the media on Friday morning following the announcement that the club has relieved Craig Berube of his head coaching duties.
Below is a transcript of the call...
When do you want to have a new coach in place?
That’s a good question. I’m not going to fast track anything here. I would like to have a guy in place by the draft. I guess the goal, but I’m not going to do things quickly. We’re going to do our due diligence and look at essentially the whole landscape, and come up with the coach that we feel is the right guy. I’m not going to do something in the next couple of weeks for sure.
Do you need a guy with NHL experience?
Well, I think in a perfect world that’s one of the things you look for, but that’s not mandatory. Again, we’re going to look at every candidate we feel merits looking at, and we’ll go through it from there. Again, is it nice, yes… is it imperative, I’d say no.
How much did the relationships between Berube and some of his players play into your decision?
I’m not one of those guys that necessarily looks at the players and are the players happy or are they players unhappy. I think in the end a coach’s job is to get the most out of his players, and in the end that’s the conclusion that I came to, was that that wasn’t the case. I will say this – Craig Berube is a good friend of mine, he’s a terrific man, and the professional side of this I have an obligation to the organization to do what I think is best, and that’s what I did. Obviously there’s a personal side here and a man lost his job here, and no one obviously likes that.
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
The Philadelphia Flyers have relieved head coach Craig Berube of his duties with the club, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Berube was the 18th head coach in Flyers history and was named to the post on October 7, 2013. He recently completed his second season as head coach and leaves the position with a record of 75-58-28 (.553).
Prior to being named head coach, Berube spent six seasons as a Flyers assistant. He has spent 18 seasons with the organization as a player, assistant coach and head coach, doing all three with both the Flyers and Phantoms.
The team will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall is meeting with the media now...
added 3:11pm, Hextall video below on Berude...
from Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inguirer,
If the Flyers fire Craig Berube this week - and the drumbeat emanating from Ice Station Groundhog is certainly familiar - the lucky new coach, whomever he is, will be the team's 10th in the last 20 years.
It's quite a list, traveling all the way from Terry Murray to Berube, with station stops at Wayne Cashman, Roger Neilson, Craig Ramsay, Bill Barber, Ken Hitchcock, John Stevens and Peter Laviolette.
Here's the funny thing about the coaches on that list, and it tells you more about the nature of the franchise than it does about the respective abilities of the coaches or the quality of the teams with which they were entrusted.
None of them left with a losing record.
Think about that for a moment. If general manager Ron Hextell holds to tradition - and there is no tradition like Flyers tradition - he is going to fire Berube and the team will have parted ways with nine straight coaches who were .500 or better on points percentage. I would challenge anyone to find another franchise in professional sports that went through as many coaches in a 20-year span and never fired a loser.
Well, Ed Snider always said he wanted the franchise to make history. This record will stand for a while.
If Hextall really wants to send a message to the players and the entire organization, he will stand in front of the microphones Wednesday at his season-ending news conference and give Berube a contract extension. Berube isn't the problem. The problem is believing that a little tinkering with the roster and a new coach will fix things.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“I still believe in myself and think I can bring a lot to the team. I think to produce you need a little bit of time on the ice and you get opportunities. I didn’t feel I really got that this year.”
-Vinny Lecavalier on exit day for the Philadelphia Flyers. Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull has more from Lecavalier.
What little unwritten rule of sportsmanship did Chris Kunitz break on Sunday that sparked an unruly battle between the benches between the Flyers and Penguins?
The Flyers did win the game, 4-1.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Del Zotto made $1.3 million this season. It's a big trim from the $2.9 million he earned last season. He obviously isn't at Drew Doughty's level ($7 million), but he's closer to a James Wisniewski ($5.5 million) than Nick Grossmann ($3.5 million) in pay scale.
To this point, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said negotiations have not begun. The Flyers will retain Del Zotto's rights so long as they offer him a $1.3 million qualifying offer, which his agent, Mark Guy, said he fully expects....
Could this be a complicated negotiation?
"I have no idea," Hextall said. "Personally, I don't think it should be difficult. I think we know where he was, we know where he is. I think two reasonable people can probably put something together that's fair for both sides. I don't anticipate [it], but until you get there, you don't know."
Hextall said the Flyers could be interested in a longer term deal "depending on the numbers." They'll probably need to pay to buy up a few of his unrestricted years. Del Zotto is also arbitration-eligible should an impasse arrive.
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