Every Time I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In

While there are times where I find Chicago to be the most ass-backwards sports town in the country, (see: debates over the leadoff position, Jay Cutler is bad, Luol Deng is good) it seems like Philadelphia is always there to lift up my spirits when I’m down. 

In case you missed the news last week, Flyers head coach John Stevens was relieved of his duties and Peter Laviolette was named as the new head coach.  Not really a big deal, right? 

Well apparently, there is a huge controversy over this Laviolette quote from 2007:

“I have a very strict no-fighting policy for our team,” Laviolette said. “Last year in the playoffs (defenseman) Mike Commodore got into a fight and I said, ‘OK, that’s it. No more fighting.’ I simply cannot afford to lose a player like Mike Commodore to an injury he may sustain in a fight.

“Take a guy like Erik Cole. If we allowed him to fight, I know he would do it. Now if he gets hurt in a fight, our team has lost a very valuable asset. How do I justify that? I can’t. It just doesn’t make sense to me to allow our guys to fight.”

So by my logic, Laviolette doesn’t want his important players fighting because he can’t afford to lose them to injury.  Seems pretty brilliant if you ask me. 

That was before he took over a team with Dan Carcillo on its roster.  Check out this “fight” from Saturday night’s massacre at the hands of the Washington Capitals.

Because of Carcillo’s actions, Washington was awarded a nine-minute power play where they easily put the game away in a 9-2 victory.  Not to mention, Carcillo will most certainly face a suspension from the league offices.  

Now, Laviolette is being put on the skewers for how he’s going to handle the situation.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is going to back his new coach’s move 100%.  It’s highly unlikely Laviolette is really going to give a damn if Carcillo drops the gloves again, as long as he doesn’t end up putting his team a man down for half of a period.  He’s not exactly what Laviolette would call “a very valuable asset”.  

At the same time, if Laviolette really doesn’t care for fighting and has a strict no-fighting policy for his team, then Holmgren will be looking to unload Carcillo ASAP.  There’s really no use for having a goof like this on their team if the one thing he does decently, his coach has outlawed.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, I wouldn’t recommend buying a Flyers “Carcillo” jersey anytime soon.

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One Response to Every Time I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, interesting points. Former NHL coach, and currently RDS commentator, Michel Bergeron–a fiery fellow himself–opined that Laviolette was selected by the Flyers rather than the other way around.

    But as you point out, Holmgren and Laviolette are going to march in locjk step, and the Flyers’ evident lack of discipline on and off the ice are going to be brought to the fore.

    For all the talent they have, the Flyers’ party animals have gone limp in more than a few ways.

    They were better against the Habs last night than versus the Caps, but that’s not saying much.

    Mr. Holmgren may now be studying possible exit strategies for a player or two…

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