Regardless of a potential lockout, the Flyers locked up head coach Peter Laviolette with a multi-year contract extension keeping him in Philadelphia through the 2014-2015 season. Laviolette, the 17th head coach in Flyers history began his tenure with the Flyers on December 4th, 2009. He took a struggling team with high expectations and propelled them to a Stanley Cup finals appearance against the Chicago Blackhawks. While the Flyers came up short, Laviolette made his mark on this team and “The City of Brotherly Love.”
Flyers General Manager, Paul Holmgren announced the contract extension on Wednesday. “We are thrilled to have Peter continue his work with our group as we push to compete for the Stanley Cup,” Holmgren said. “Peter has done a terrific job for us and is very deserving of this extension.”
Since Laviolette’s hiring, the Flyers have posted a 122-73-26 regular season record and have achieved the third most wins in the Eastern Conference behind only the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. During his time behind the Philadelphia bench, Laviolette has taught success on the road, reaching 25 wins away from the Wells Fargo Center in each of the last two seasons.
His playoff experience as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes has successfully carried over to Philadelphia. The Flyers have played in eight playoff series, more than any other team since Laviolette’s appointment. He has lead this Flyers team to three straight appearances in the second round of the playoffs, a feat no other coach has achieved over the past three seasons.
During his conference call with the media Laviolette spoke about the upcoming season and possible concerns with the defensive corps. “I think when you look at a guy like Shea Weber there’s probably a lot of teams that wish they had a player of his caliber on their club, but you know our team moved forward without Shea [Weber] last year and we dealt with certain injuries and certain things our club had to overcome and we used a lot of young defensemen and a lot of good players.”
Laviolette later talked about the new players that Paul Holmgren brought into the fold. “I’m exciting about the players we brought into the fold this year and I think its going to be an exciting time building back up from where we left off and adding to the new players to the mix, but I feel good about the players we have under contract and moving forward.”
Paul Holmgren updated the status of defenseman, Andrej Meszaros stating “he’s fine.” He also stated that the Flyers are working on a new contract for Marc-Andre Bourdon, “Health wise he’s fine, the contract part is ongoing.”