Flyers Fire Head Coach Dave Hakstol
The Philadelphia Flyers have fired head coach Dave Hakstol. General manager Chuck Fletcher said Scott Gordon will take over on an interim basis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the rumors yesterday about a Flyers coaching change were half right. Hakstol indeed lost his job but wasn’t replaced by former Chicago Blackhawks bench boss Joel Quenneville. The fact Gordon is interim coach suggests management isn’t done seeking a full-time replacement, so don’t expect the rumors linking Quenneville to the Flyers to dissipate anytime soon.
Gordon was the head coach of the Flyers’ AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms since 2015-16, guiding them to the third round of the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs. From 2008 to 2010, he was coach of the New York Islanders, who failed to reach the playoffs during his tenure. He also spent three seasons (2011-12 to 2013-14) as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Given the Flyers’ ongoing decline following last month’s firing of GM Ron Hextall, it’s not surprising that Hakstol got the ax. While they reached the playoffs twice during his three-and-a-half seasons behind the bench, they failed to advance beyond the first round. To be fair, the Flyers’ ongoing weaknesses in goal played a significant role in the club’s struggles this season. Still, their overall inconsistency led to Hakstol’s demise.
Should the Flyers surge back into playoff contention over the remainder of this season, perhaps Gordon will remain as head coach. Otherwise, he probably shouldn’t get too comfortable in that role.