The Philadelphia Flyers have fired Craig Berube.
No replacement has been named yet, which makes sense because there are a lot of coaches who might become available this summer who are still employed by other teams. There's no word on the fate of assistant coaches Gord Murphy, Joe Mullen or Ian Laperriere.
It's unclear what's changed since Wednesday, when general manager Ron Hextall sat down in front of the media and said that he was not yet ready to make a decision on his head coach's future. We're assuming that the two sat down and talked about what the future of the organization looks like, and Hextall came to the determination that Berube is not the guy to lead this team forward.
More on the coaching change
More on the coaching change
Or maybe Hextall knew all along that he wasn't keeping Berube around, and just didn't feel like making the announcement two days ago, for whatever reason.
This is probably the smart move for the team, though. Berube was a "fine" coach ... nothing spectacular, nothing horrendous. But despite players like Jakub Voracek coming out this week and saying that they want him to return -- of course you're going to say that when asked in public about it -- it's clear that Berube wore thin with some important players on this roster.
Sure, there's his public falling out with Vincent Lecavalier, which frankly isn't that big of a deal simply because Vinny is not an important part of the team, but there's also the struggle with goalie coach Jeff Reese and goaltender Steve Mason, which from the outside certainly seems serious enough, even in the chance that the reports about the incident are exaggerated.
Then there's the fact that he just didn't seem like a good tactician. He made lots of questionable personnel moves this season, which was disappointing since in his first season here he seemed to do the exact opposite. But things like dressing Zac Rinaldo for 58 games, or failing to scratch Nicklas Grossmann while superior players like Michael Del Zotto sat, or punishing players with benchings and scratches without any rhyme or reason were all head scratchers. It was always hard to get a handle on what exactly Berube was thinking -- and that's the way some players felt, too.
Here is the press release from the team:
The Philadelphia Flyers have relieved head coach Craig Berube of his duties with the club, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Berube was the 18th head coach in Flyers history and was named to the post on October 7, 2013. He recently completed his second season as head coach and leaves the position with a record of 75-58-28 (.553).
Prior to being named head coach, Berube spent six seasons as a Flyers assistant. He has spent 18 seasons with the organization as a player, assistant coach and head coach, doing all three with both the Flyers and Phantoms.
The team will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.