References to the Los Angeles Kings as "Flyers West" grew new legs this past summer, when former Flyers captain Mike Richards was traded to Hollywood, followed soon after by the signing of Simon Gagne. Richie and Gags joined a cast of former Orange & Blackers that included such notable former inhabitants of South Philadelphia as coach Terry Murray, assistant coach John Stevens, GM Dean Lombardi, and assistant GM Ron Hextall.
Today, with the Kings sitting at 13-12-4 and having lost four straight, one of the former Flyers lost his gig. However, they're still pretty Flyer-heavy for the moment; Murray was fired, and Stevens has taken over as interim head coach. [Puck Daddy]
Gotta say, I can't blame them. The former Flyers they've targeted and landed, including Justin Williams in addition to the list above, are all respected guys at their positions. I can't help but feel myself kinda rooting for them from top to bottom. If Stevens can immediately make a positive impact, it will be interesting to see if he's kept around longer than just until they find someone else.
That said, they've been working (and spending) to improve the team, and the results just aren't there so far.
As for Richards, in case you missed it, he's among the NHL stars currently sitting out with a concussion. I remember a few years ago, debates over which captain fans would rather have, Richards or Sidney Crosby. Crosby has emerged as the elite player, probably the best in the league, and won a Cup. But Richards looked for a while like his outstanding two-way play might see him emerge as an outstanding leader as well. He may yet, but for now, the debate's moot because neither guy can even skate for long without resumption of symptoms.
We're hoping some awesome scientists are working on a vaccine for this plague.
Photo: Christopher Szagola-US Presswire