Flyers fire Laviolette after 0-3-0 NHL start

Oct. 7, 2013 at 11:57 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Peter Laviolette has been fired as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and replaced by Craig Berube just three games into the season, the NHL team said Monday.

The Flyers, who lost at Carolina 2-1 Sunday, are 0-3-0 and have been outscored 9-3. They are one of four teams -- Buffalo, Nashville and Edmonton are the others -- without a point in the standings in the new season.

It is believed to be the earliest firing in an NHL season. Three coaches were fired four games into their seasons.

Flyer General Manager Paul Holmgren announced the change.

"Right from the first day of training camp I was worried about how the team looked," Holmgren told a news conference. "We have a long way to go this season, but it's about how we played and it was unacceptable. It was a gut feeling that I had to make a change."

Berube, 47, is to take over the team, which next plays Tuesday in Philadelphia against Florida. It will be the first NHL game as a head coach for Berube, who has coached in the Flyers' organization since 2006 after ending a 17-year career as a player.

Berube was made the 18th head coach in Flyers history.

Holmgren said: "We're just not playing well enough right now to win the in the National Hockey League. Whether it's fresh ideas or a new voice, that's up to Craig. That's his job. I didn't like the direction the team was heading and felt we needed a change."

Laviolette, 48, was beginning his fifth season as the Flyers' head coach. His first Philadelphia team advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, losing to Chicago, and the next two made it to the second round of the playoffs but last year, after going 23-22-3, the team didn't qualify for the post-season. Philadelphia was 145-98-29 under Laviolette.

Laviolette previously coached the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. His overall coaching record is 389-279-63 with 25 ties. His teams qualified for the playoffs six times in the 10 years he was coach at the end of the regular season.

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