Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
The Flyers announced via twitter today that Craig Berube will not return for the last season of his contract as head coach. This announcement comes just two days after Ron Hextall told reporters that he was still taking the time to fully evaluate Berube as a coach.
This move certainly does not come as a surprise. The writing was on the wall the other day after Ron Hextall failed to give Berube a vote of confidence at his end of season press conference.
Berube’s job security was in question even before he appeared to develop a troubled relationship with Steve Mason. For Berube, that rocky relationship might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It could be argued that Berube deserved more of a chance. During two seasons here, he led the Flyers to a respectable .553 points percentage. The Flyers came within one game of eliminating the Eastern Conference Champion Rangers last season, and missed the playoffs this season with a very limited roster. Berube does bring some valuable ideas to the table defensively.
However, a closer look indicates that Berube was just not the guy who should bring this franchise forward as they rebuild. His two seasons as head coach just included way too many baffling lineup decisions, deployment problems and conceptual misunderstandings. Hal Gill in a playoff game, Erik Gustaffsson in the press box, MDZ a healthy scratch, Rinaldo and Grossmann as fixtures in the lineup… the list goes on and on. I think I’ve seen and heard enough from Berube to know that this is the correct move here.
Obviously, there are a ton of questions to be answered as we move forward. Who will replace Berube? Would the Flyers lose even one game next season with Babcock as coach? We will keep you posted as this story develops.