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.