The Flyers signed head coach Peter Laviolette to a multi-year contract extension on Wednesday morning. It'll keep him under contract with the team through the 2014-15 season, but as we all know with head coaches, that doesn't mean much.
Sure, the Flyers will be paying him until then regardless of what happens, but will he actually still be coach in the summer of 2015? Let's briefly look at Lavi's career history:
|2001-02||Islanders||82||42||28||8||4||96||0.585||2nd||Lost in Conf. Quarterfinals|
|2002-03||Islanders||82||35||34||11||2||83||0.506||3rd||Lost in Conf. Quarterfinals|
|fired by Islanders in June 2003 – hired by Hurricanes in December 2003|
|2005-06||Hurricanes||82||52||22||8||112||0.683||1st||Won Stanley Cup|
|fired by Hurricanes in December 2008 – hired by Flyers in December 2009|
|2009-10||Flyers||57||28||24||5||61||0.535||3rd||Lost in Stanley Cup Finals|
|2010-11||Flyers||82||47||23||12||106||0.646||1st||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|2011-12||Flyers||82||47||26||9||103||0.628||3rd||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
If we ignore playoff results (which is obviously saying a lot), Lavi is on a similar trajectory in Philadelphia as he saw in Carolina. Came in midseason in his first year and had success in a relatively short amount of time after taking over -- he won a Stanley Cup in Year 2 with Carolina and won the East in Year 1 with the Flyers.
The narrative that's survived regarding Lavi's downfall in Carolina is that he lost the team. Too much work, not enough success following the Cup run. We talked to Bob Wage from Hurricanes blog Canes Country back when the Flyers hired Laviolette.
"He is certainly his own man and might have a bit of an ego," Wage said, "but... he gets things done. I think he's a great fit for you guys, but he seems to wear out his welcome after a bit. Will he be your head coach five years from now? The odds are, no."
We have no idea what may happen over the next three seasons, but I think it's safe to say that there is a concern -- whether it's unspoken or not -- that Laviolette's up-tempo, aggressive style can wear on guys over the course of a full season or multiple seasons.
I'd like to think Laviolette will make it through at least another season here in Philadelphia. He's had his two of his three best seasons as an NHL coach over these last two years and even if the Flyers don't match that 47 win total again in 2012-13, there's reason to expect they'll be in that ballpark again.
But if the Flyers lose in Round 1 or 2 of the playoffs again, will we grow impatient? What do you think? How long do you believe Peter Laviolette will be the head coach of the Flyers?