Sunday’s game was finally the tipping point. A 7-1 loss to reach eight games on a losing streak prompted a change, and on Monday morning, it happened.
The Flyers have fired head coach Alain Vigneault.
Vigneault, who was hired on April 15, 2019, was head coach for parts of three seasons and had a 74-54-19 record in 147 games behind the Flyers bench. Assistant coach Michel Therrien was also fired. Mike Yeo remains on the coaching staff and will be the interim coach. The Flyers play again on Monday night at 7 p.m. against the Colorado Avalanche.
In Vigneault’s first season, the Flyers were getting hot at the right time when COVID-19 hit the world and shut down the season. When the team returned for the playoffs, they reached their farthest point of the playoffs, going to Game 7 in the second round before falling to the New York Islanders.
What followed was a total collapse. In a shortened 2020-21 season, the Flyers got off to an 8-3-2 start before having a COVID outbreak. They finished the season with a 25-23-8 record and missed the playoffs.
This season, the Flyers similarly started off with a 7-3-2 record. Nine losses in the next 10 games led to the decision to make a change behind the bench.
Yeo does have prior experience as a head coach and hire of Chuck Fletcher’s with the Minnesota Wild, but there simply is no definitive coach at the moment. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Flyers have not spoken to any other candidates about the coaching position as of Monday morning, though names like Rick Tocchet, Bruce Boudreau, and John Tortorella have been floated around. Boudreau is off the table, as it was reported he will become the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
That said, it was just last Tuesday that Fletcher seemingly backed the coaching staff with a vote of confidence. Two games later, after a 4-1 loss in New York and a 7-1 loss to Tampa Bay on home ice, that was apparently enough.
Regardless, the Flyers are back on home ice and will have a new face behind the bench.