By Mike Harrington
Click above for a video from CSN Philly that shows a clip of the Flyers' press conference Monday announcing the surprise firing of coach Peter Laviolette after three games. Who is shown answering the question?
A longtime Philadelphia staple. Ed Snider. The owner.
Yes, owners really do attend press conferences. Especially when they fire coaches and need to show some accountability to the fans for their decisions. They even answer questions about the situation.
(Sorry to open an old wound, Sabres fans. The point had to be made in the wake of Monday's events.)
Snider even put out a pretty passionate defense of his franchise. Wouldn't you have liked to have heard that at some point since February?
Now, admittedly, the question in the video here is a little goofy. Yes, the Flyers haven't won a Stanley Cup since they beat the Sabres in 1975, but I don't know there's a whole lot wrong with a "culture" that includes 16 playoff appearances in the last 18 seasons -- including six conference finals and two trips to the Stanley Cup final.
Go back even further and the Flyers have made four other trips to the Stanley Cup final (1976, 1980, 1985, 1987). Yes, they lost them all. But again, is there a problem with the "culture" of the franchise? This seems to be a "problem" I know the Eastern Conference's other 0-3 team would love to have.
Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski, however, says a stale culture is absolutely a problem for the Flyers. And the hiring of assistant coach and former Philly enforcer Craig Berube just reinforces it.
Hmmm. OK. If you say so.