We talked extensively on Monday about Craig Berube's experience as a professional hockey coach, but we didn't really settle on much of a picture. Berube's quotes yesterday weren't very deep and left us wondering exactly what kind of coach will be behind the Flyers bench beginning Tuesday night.
We also saw Ed Snider get very, very angry with reporters who questioned whether or not the organization needs a "fresh perspective," that their hire-from-within culture hasn't gotten them anywhere in 38 years.
But might Berube, who's been in the organization as a coach for nine seasons now, actually bring that fresh perspective? Straight from the horse's mouth, courtesy of SB Nation's Matt Brigidi:
Craig Berube on HC Central at noon: "We're not in the 70s & 80s anymore. This is a skating era. We need to skate harder. It's about speed."- Matt Brigidi (@mattbrigidi) October 7, 2013
For context: That was in response to asking about Philadelphia's toughness.- Matt Brigidi (@mattbrigidi) October 7, 2013
On the one hand, that seems surprising. A couple of times already this year, we've talked about the idea that this is the Philadelphia Flyers and these are the Broad Street Bullies forever and that's the reason why they do things like play Jay Rosehill and whatnot.
Hiring Berube -- a 1,000+ game NHL veteran whose career was so thoroughly defined by his toughness and work with his fists -- doesn't really do much to change that image at first glance. In fact, with Berube and Ian Laperriere running things on the bench, well ... it kind of makes things look like this. And Berube will obviously be defined by his actions over his words.
At the same time, if he's not just blowing smoke here ... isn't this a nice breath of fresh air?
The Flyers are a lot of things. "Tough" is one of them. Most skaters on the Flyers are pretty damn tough. Hell, most hockey players are pretty tough. Obviously, they aren't all the Bullies or anything, but they're tough, and this iteration of the Flyers are no exception. But wouldn't it be nice if the guy running things is actually willing to bring this kind of perspective to the table?
In addition to being tough, they Flyers also a bit slow in some places. If Berube sees that and is going to try and change that, I'm all in favor. Who knows how he'll go about doing that -- personnel changes? systemic ones? both? -- but going against the current of the organization may be for the best here.