Amidst calls for Andy Reid to be fired in Philadelphia, another rotund regular season winner was shown the door in our neighbor to the south. The Washington Capitals have announced the firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau, who will be replaced by former Cap Dale Hunter today.
Despite compiling a 201-88-40 record since taking over the team almost exactly four years ago, Boudreau has had little success in the postseason. So far in 2011-2012, with an assembly of players picked by many as the Stanley Cup favorites, Boudreau has coached the Capitals to a record slightly above .500, but that mark doesn't convey the soap opera that has been unfolding at the Verizon Center.
Also, although there are five months worth of games still left on the long NHL season, "just above .500" leaves the Caps as both the second place team in their division, only the eighth best team in the conference, five points ahead of second worst. There's a lot of time to get the team on track, but there must have been some fear that this talented team might actually miss the playoffs. And, even if they did make it, Boudreau had shown little ability to put it all together for a springtime run.
Boudreau wasn't the only NHL coach given a stay of execution over the Thanksgiving holiday only to be terminated today… TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that the Carolina Hurricanes have fired Paul Maurice and replaced him with Kirk Muller. Maurice both preceded and succeeded Peter Laviolette in Carolina.
Puck Daddy has a nice summary of the fall of Boudreau and the beginning of the Hunter Era in DC here.
Maybe Dale will have less time to troll now.
Have any doubts about Joel Embiid's health?
Well take a look at this.
How about now?
Of course, this isn't live NBA action, and it is against 5-11 Drew Hanlen, a skills coach and consultant, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Charles Barkley is jumping on the Sixers bandwagon.
"I think the Sixers gonna get really good, really quickly, but it all depends on (Joel) Embiid," Barkley said. "They're not gonna win a championship the next couple years, but I think they can really become a perrenial playoff team in the next three years."
Sounds good, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of "ifs" according to Barkley.
Most of those "ifs" ride on the health of center Joel Embiid. If the big man gets healthy, and the Sixers can resolve the "glutton of big guys," Barkley likes the Sixers chances.
"I think the most important thing they need to figure out is if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. ... I like (Jahlil) Okafor and I like (Nerlens) Noel, but they gotta figure out if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy.
"I like Ben Simmons, but that team's got a long way to go," Barkley said.
To hear more of Barkley's thoughts on the Sixers' future, watch the full video above.
The Eagles have a serious depth problem at linebacker, and they're looking at a local prospect to try to fix it.
The team will sign former Villanova linebacker Don Cherry on Sunday, pending a physical, a league source told CSNPhilly.com. ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported the deal.
Cherry, 21, first signed with the Bears after going undrafted in the spring, but was cut by Chicago in June.
The 6-1, 240-pound Cherry was an All-CAA selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. During his time on the Main Line, he was credited with 331 tackles, 46 1/2 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Even with Cherry, the Eagles are still light in the depth department at linebacker. After starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the team has Najee Goode, Deontae Skinner, seventh-rounder Joe Walker and a couple of other undrafted free agents.
After cutting wideout Jonathan Krause on Friday, the Eagles had three vacancies on their 90-man roster. They're filling another of those openings with former Alabama safety Nick Perry, according to a league source. The perry deal was first reported by Al.com's Matt Zenitz. The 6-1, 211-pound Perry spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad after going undrafted in 2015.
Eagles training camp kicks off Monday, and the first full-team practice is Thursday.