After the Flyers lost out on the likes of Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Shea Weber, they shifted their focus to the man behind the bench.
The Flyers awarded Peter Laviolette with a two-year extension and with one year left on his current deal, the team hopes to have him at the helm until at least the end of the 2014-15 season.
Laviolette took over for John Stevens in December 2009 and quickly turned the team around, leading them all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Since joining the Flyers, Laviolette has a regular season record of 122-73-26.
In his first two full seasons, the Flyers are second in the Eastern Conference and third in the NHL in overall points (209).
There is no denying that Laviolette has done his fair share to earn his contract but it hasn’t been all lollipops and gumdrops since his arrival.
While it wasn’t entirely his fault, the goalie carousel Laviolette created during the 2011 playoffs was plain embarrassing.
Paul Holmgren also hinted at his end-of-season press conference that they may have to tweak Laviolette’s offensive-minded system a tad if they want lower Ilya Bryzgalov’s goals against average.
Even with the additions to their blueline, the Flyers’ don’t have that shut-down defenseman like Chris Pronger or Shea Weber.
Terry Murray, who is the new Phantoms head coach, is known for his defensive system, which helped the LA Kings get their first Stanley Cup in June. There is no doubt that he will be working with Laviolette this training camp.
Nobody knows if the 2012-13 season is going to start on time or if there will be a season at all. What we do know is that Laviolette will be ready to create some jam whenever that may be.