In an announcement earlier today and after rumors of the Flyers firing Dave Hakstol last night, it became official today when newly named General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, Chuck Fletcher, announced he would be relieving Dave Hakstol of his duties. The decision came along a day after the rumors that the Flyers had already fired Dave Hakstol, but the Flyers denied the statement, saying, “Dave Hakstol is our coach.” In Chuck Fletcher’s message to the media, he stated that AHL affiliate head coach of the Phantoms, Scott Gordon, will be the Flyers’ interim head coach moving forward for the time being. He also stated that he was “up front” with Scott Gordon, meaning Fletcher had probably already told Gordon they were going to look for a new leader behind the bench and that he was only to serve as the interim for now. Fletcher expects Scott Gordon to serve for the remainder of the season, as he says that “everyone is a candidate” and that it “was a process.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, the nightmare has officially come to an end. Under Dave Hakstol so far this season, the Flyers are dead last in the metropolitan at 12-15-4 and have the worst goal differential in the east at an awful -23. All year we’ve had to watch the Flyers have a horrific special teams, an unreliable offense, and a very unattractive rotation of goaltending. The Flyers roster isn’t all that bad, but also isn’t all that good. Claude Giroux is still a point per game player so far this season, currently on pace for 103 points, coming off a season where he had just recorded 102 points. Sean Couturier has always been a solid two-way player, while breaking out last year with a 30 goal season. Jakub Voracek has been our most productive winger the past couple seasons, having 60+ points in 4 of his last 5 seasons. The young talent in Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick is there. The top 6 forwards are there. Ghost, Sanheim, Provorov lead a group of mostly young and/or inconsistent blue liners for Philadelphia. The Flyers defense can sometimes show the ability to play a good game in front of their shaky goaltending, but have also showed the lack of being able to do so for a full 60 minutes. The Flyers at the moment don’t possess an elite roster no, but this is not a roster that should be dead last in the metropolitan. This falls all on head coach Dave Hakstol. The Flyers always seem to fail in scoring the game’s first goal, hence always playing behind. The goaltending has a combined save percentage of .874% and now Carter Hart, hopeful future savior for the Flyers crease for a long time to come, has been recalled and is expected to start in tomorrow when the Flyers face off against the Detroit Red Wings.
The firing of Dave Hakstol isn’t a shock and it’s a move that has been needed to be done for quite some time now. The Metro is still wide open, with Philadelphia being only 8 points behind the third place Penguins. Exercising all options is the best move going forward this year and a much better one than packing it in for 50 games and waiting for the future. Whoever the Flyers hire and put behind their bench next, they can’t be any worse than Dave Hakstol.