Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice is not the only NHL head coach with his job on the line next season. Flyers bench boss Peter Laviolette is also in the final year of his contract and he's been taking a fair amount of criticism up in the "City of Brotherly Love."
The Flyers had a tremendous start to their season, but finished the regular season slowly and ended up slipping to second place in the Eastern Conference, just behind the Caps. They got by Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs in seven games, but were then swept by the Bruins in round two.
Many in Philadelphia expected more.
CBS Philly ran this report earlier in the month:
"The Flyers blew the Eastern Conference number one seed by losing 14 of their last 21 regular season games."
A report from CSN Philly posted yesterday was a bit more critical:
"... something happened as the season drew to the close. Suddenly the Flyers seemed fatigued, disheartened, unable to win games that should have come easily. Presented with numerous chances to clinch the Eastern Conference, they failed on each occasion."
"All along, the Flyers' special teams struggled, but the power play was particularly bad throughout both playoff rounds. Not all of the responsibility lies in the coach's hands, of course, but he does bear some of it.
He seemed somewhat immune from criticism at the time – but the future for Laviolette might not be so rosy."
The coach certainly had trouble deciding from three different goalies in the playoffs, but in his defense, when two of those three goalies are career backups and the other is an unproven rookie, it's tough to make a correct decision.
Laviolette and team captain Mike Richards reportedly have a "frosty" relationship, but the coach defended his captain at the team's end of season press conference.
In any event, if the Flyers don't get off to a better start next fall than how they ended this past season, the heat will really be cranked up on former Hurricanes coach.
Another coaching list does not mention Jeff Daniels
NHL.com provided a similar listing of head coaching candidates that we linked from the Globe and Mail last week. Once again, Kevin Dineen was high on the "possibility" list, but Checkers coach Jeff Daniels was not listed.