The Philadelphia Flyers are firing Dave Hakstol as their head coach. Reports of the team hiring Joel Quenneville as their new coach, as reported by Dave Isaac of Courier Post, however, were proven to be incorrect as the team opted to run with Scott Gordon as their interim head coach.
— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) December 16, 2018
The Flyers are in last place in the Eastern Conference with only 28 points this season. The team already made the decision to fire Ron Hextall as their general manager earlier in the season in an attempt to shake things up but that ultimately hasn’t made a difference. The team has instead lost five of their last six games and are eight points out of a playoff spot.
The Flyers will now move forward with Chuck Fletcher as their general manager and Gordon as their interim coach in an attempt to salvage the 2018-19 season while also being legitimate contenders in the future. It’ll be an uphill battle for the Flyers but a change was undoubtedly necessary at the head coach position as things simply weren’t working.
Fortunately for both Fletcher and Gordon, the Flyers are building one of the best young cores and prospect pools in the NHL.
While Hextall originally wanted to let the process play itself out; something residents of Philadelphia are familiar with given the “trust the process” mantra that the Philadelphia 76ers have adopted in recent years, ownership and team president Paul Holmgren has intentions of winning now – a philosophical difference that proved to be too much to overcome.
Fletcher had the following to say of their decision to move on from Hakstol:
“After meeting this morning with Dave Hakstol and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to relieve him of his duties as head coach. As I continue to assess the team, I feel that this is the best course of action for our group moving forward. I’d like to thank Dave for his service to the team and the organization. Scott Gordon will serve as head coach on an interim basis.”
Quenneville Would Have Been a Solid Option
If the intention for the Flyers is to win, they’ll be hiring the right person for their coaching vacancy in Quenneville. One of the most accomplished coaches in the history of the NHL, Quenneville was a major part of the dynasty that was built in Chicago that saw the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups between 2010 and 2016.
In addition to those three Stanley Cups, Quenneville also had his name on the Cup a fourth time from his days as an assistant coach in Colorado during the 1995-96 season. He also ranks second in all-time NHL coaching wins with 890 victories under his belt.
The Flyers have been up and down in recent seasons, qualifying for the postseason each season from 2007-08 until 2011-12 before failing to qualify in 2012-13, 2014-15 and 2016-17 while qualifying in 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2017-18, losing in the first round in each of those seasons.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.