The Philadelphia Flyers have already made a GM change this season, but more changes could be coming.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported on the Saturday Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada that “there’s a lot of smoke gathering,” around head coach Dave Hakstol.
“While we don’t want to say anything definitive tonight it certainly is a situation that bears watching,” Johnston said. “With the Flyers wrapping up their road trip in Vancouver, it could be one where (Flyers’ GM) Chuck Fletcher is forced to make a change.”
The Flyers head into Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks having lost three in a row to Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. Philadelphia’s record dropped to 12-14-4 after a 4-1 loss to the Oilers Friday, and they entered play Saturday tied with the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils for the fewest points in the Eastern Conference.
For a team that finished third in the Metropolitan Division last season, this has been a disappointing campaign so far.
That disappointing play resulted in the firing of GM Ron Hextall on Nov. 26, when the team had a 10-11-2 record. Fletcher was hired a week later and said “you have to give people a chance,” when asked about the future of his coach.
Hakstol, 50, was hired by the Flyers ahead of the 2015-16 season after a successful career at the University of North Dakota. At the time he was the first coach since 1982 to go straight from the NCAA to the NHL. Under Hakstol, the Flyers have a 122-86-38 record and have made the playoffs in two of his three seasons, losing in the first round both times.
If he is fired, Hakstol would be the fifth coach to lose his job this season after none lost their jobs in-season last year.