Winless Flyers fire coach Peter Laviolette

Peter Laviolette's three-season-plus slide as head coach with the Philadelphia Flyers culminated in his firing on Monday. The NHL team named assistant coach Craig Berube as Laviolette's replacement.

Assistant, former NHL player Berube takes over

The Flyers have started the season with a 0-3 record for the second time in as many years, and it has cost head coach Peter Laviolette his job. Assistant coach Craig Berube has been named his replacement. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Peter Laviolette’s three-season-plus slide as head coach with the Philadelphia Flyers culminated in his firing on Monday..

Assistant Craig Berube, in his seventh season with the organization after also playing here, will take over as coach. He is the Flyers' 18th coach in team history.

"Just because I've been in the organization a long time doesn't mean I'm going to do the same thing other coaches did," he said. "I'm not them. I have my own thoughts. I have my own way of how I want to coach."

Philadelphia has dropped its first three regular-season games for the second consecutive season and been outscored 9-3 in those contests this time around.

The Flyers mustered only 18 shots in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Carolina.

Laviolette signed a two-year extension last season that was set to take him through 2014-15. He's just the second coach in Flyers history to coach parts of five seasons.

He's set to serve as an assistant coach under Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma for the United States in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Laviolette, whom the Flyers hired on Dec. 4, 2009, departs with a regular-season record of 145-98-29 in Philadelphia. He was 23-22 in the post-season.

Laviolette had previously won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes and guided Philadelphia to the Cup final in 2010 but the team has struggled since, ousted in Round 2 of the playoffs in 2011 and 2012 and missing the post-season in last year’s lockout-shortened campaign.

Fastest firing

It's believed Laviolette's ousting sets an NHL record for earliest coaching firing into a season. Three coaches had been let go four games into a new campaign, most recently Denis Savard in Chicago in 2008. Ivan Hlinka in Pittsburgh (2000) and Jacques Demers in Montreal (1995) are the others.

The NHL season began with new coaches in five of its 30 cities: Patrick Roy (Colorado), Lindy Ruff (Dallas), Dallas Eakins (Edmonton), Alain Vigneault (New York Rangers) and John Tortorella (Vancouver).

Laviolette received a vote of confidence from Flyers chairman Ed Snider shortly before the season started.

I thought our training camp, quite frankly, was one of the worst training camps I've ever seen. There was nothing exciting. Nobody shined.- Flyers chairman Ed Snider

"As far as Peter is concerned, last year was an anomaly," he said. "He's been a very good coach for us, he's been a good coach in this league."

Snider, who founded the Flyers, changed his message on Monday.

"I thought our training camp, quite frankly, was one of the worst training camps I've ever seen," he said. "I'm not talking about wins or losses. There was nothing exciting. Nobody shined. Nobody looked good. I couldn't point to one thing that I thought was a positive. Unfortunately, my worries were realized."

Berube has been on the bench with Laviolette and his predecessor, John Stevens, for the past six seasons and seven overall.

He has some head coaching experience, having led the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadephia Phantoms, for 10 games during the 2006-07 season before the parent club promoted him to work with Stevens.

Berube spent the entire 2007-08 season with the Phantoms, who posted a 46-27-7 mark.

As a player, he broke into the NHL in 1986 with the Flyers and was a rookie on the team that fell to Edmonton in the 1987 Cup finals.

Berube played 17 NHL seasons with Toronto, Calgary, Washington, New York Islanders and Philadelphia, recording 159 points in 1,054 contests. He ranks seventh in league history with 3,149 penalty minutes.

With files from The Associated Press


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