Jan 102011
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette

January 10:

Philadelphia Flyers news and stories from around the web…

Laviolette, Vigneault earn All-Star coaching spots

January 9 NHL.com:

“Joel Quenneville and Peter Laviolette coached against one another in the Stanley Cup Final last spring.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon ensured they will be behind opposite benches again for the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Jan. 30 in Raleigh, N.C.

By virtue of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the 2010 Stanley Cup, Quenneville will be the head coach of one of the All-Star teams and will be assisted on the bench by Mike Haviland, his current assistant.”

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Flyers coach juggling players to keep lines centered

January 10 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Lost in the shuffle of the Flyers‘ superb first half – if grades were handed out, most players would receive an “A” – is the way coach Peter Laviolette has expertly handled a potentially sticky situation.

Laviolette feels he has four players – Mike Richards, Danny Briere, Jeff Carter, and Claude Giroux – who are good enough to center the first two lines.

Four does not fit into two, but Laviolette has made it work.

“We’ve got four guys who need the top two spots,” Laviolette said the other day, “so we’re just doing our best to manage it.”

Briere (21 goals), Giroux (16), Carter (16), and Richards (13) have combined for 66 goals – or just six fewer than New Jersey’s entire team.

Laviolette has had three players from that group centering the first three lines, and one player moving to the wing. He has juggled it so that all four have spent some time at center, and several have rotated at wing.

“I don’t want to lose anybody,” Laviolette said, referring to their mental approach. “I think it’s important they all get back and play some games once in a while” at center.

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Flyers GM Holmgren won’t stop trying to bolster roster

January 10 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Frank Seravalli:

“If the last week has told us anything about the Flyers, who comfortably swept a home-and-home series with the last-place New Jersey Devils, it’s that general manager Paul Holmgren refuses to get comfortable.

Holmgren, according to sources, was in the hunt to land Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner before he was dealt to Dallas on Friday.

The Flyers reportedly offered two draft picks for Langenbrunner, 35, but the Devils instead took up Dallas on a conditional third-round pick that can become a second-rounder if the Stars advance past the first round of the playoffs or if the winger re-signs there in the offseason.

Even though the Flyers missed out on Langenbrunner, it’s a positive sign that Holmgren isn’t willing to settle with his team in first place in the Eastern Conference at the midway point.

A report on AOL Fan House earlier in the week cited sources saying Holmgren is looking for “one significant piece” to add before the Feb. 28 trade deadline. Holmgren knows that things can change in an instant, and that you never can have too much depth or too much leadership.

Langenbrunner, who was having a subpar year with the Devils but clearly still could play, with 61 points in 81 games last season, would have come with little risk. The Flyers don’t have a second-round pick, they are more likely to hang on to their first-round pick because they haven’t had one since 2008, and if they continue at this pace, their third-rounder will be deep in the order.

Even so, Holmgren is in a position of power. If he doesn’t make a move before the deadline, the Flyers won’t be worse off for it.

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