Peter Laviolette the odds-on favorite to be first NHL coach fired this season

Peter Laviolette the odds-on favorite to be first NHL coach fired this season

If you asked Flyers chairman Ed Snider if head coach Peter Laviolette is on the hot seat, he would tell you unequivocally no. In fact, he did just that back in September, one day after the club opened training camp.

“As far as Peter [Laviolette] is concerned, last year was an anomaly. He’s been a very good coach for us. A good coach in this league. We’re thrilled to have him.”

So there you have it. Lavvy’s job is totally safe.

Alright, so endorsements such as these are never a great sign for coaches. The fact that somebody even had to question where or not Laviolette was in the clear is reason enough to believe he may not be. Now are you willing to bet your hard-earned money that he won’t last the season?

According to current odds provided by Bovada.lv, not only does the Flyers’ head coach appear headed for a pink slip—oddsmakers believe he could be the first to get the axe in the entire NHL this season.

Who will be the first Head Coach Fired in the 2013-14 regular season?

Peter Laviolette (PHI)                 2/1
Bob Hartley (CAL)                     5/2
Kirk Muller (CAR)                       3/1
Mike Yeo (MIN)                         4/1
Claude Noel (WPG)                   9/2

Personally, I think Lavvy is probably safe if he can navigate the Flyers through these first couple months without hitting too many snags. If the Orange & Black get out to a slow start though, and are sinking quickly in the Metropolitan Division around December, a quick hook is not out of the question.

The most recent example of this front office changing their minds within a matter of months was on Ilya Bryzgalov this offseason. Snider and general manager Paul Holmgren gave Bryz a vote of confidence too—now he’s collecting in the neighborhood of $40 million to sit around at home.

Regardless, at only 2/1 odds, I'm not sure it's worth the gamble.

We’ll see if Laviolette has a similar fate coming to him. The Flyers made some big moves this offseason, and the chairman will no doubt want to see some progress early on.

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

sproles-sonic.jpg

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.