Peter Laviolette will return to coach the Flyers next season.
After guarded responses in recent weeks from Paul Holmgren about Laviolette’s future, the general manager was emphatic at breakup day in saying that Laviolette will return despite the Flyers failing to make the playoffs this spring.
“Peter Laviolette is the coach,” Holmgren said. “I don’t know where all this crap came from.”
In several previous interviews, he said that Laviolette was “expected” to return.
Pressed on the use of the word “expected,” Holmgren said, “What if he came to me today and said he didn’t want to be coach, anymore?”
Laviolette will begin a two-year extension this fall.
Holmgren said he had “no doubts” that Laviolette still has the players’ ears.
Laviolette, who celebrated a coaching milestone in April with his 750th career game behind the bench, has coached 269 games with the Flyers with a record of 145-95-29.
Only Fred Shero (554) and Mike Keenan (320) have outlasted him.
“Our team played hard until the end,” he said. “Peter is a strong motivator and a strong tactician. I expect him to lead our team back into the playoffs next year.”