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December 16, 2018

Conflicting reports on whether Flyers will fire Dave Hakstol, hire Joel Quenneville as next head coach

UPDATE [8:10 p.m.] — The Flyers may wind up with a new coach, and sometime soon, but not today, reports are now saying.

After a day of conflicting information, first confirming that Dave Hakstol was being ousted and Joel Quenneville was being hired as his replacement, then later saying it was not confirmed, the Inquirer's Sam Carchidi says there will be no change made today.

But maybe tomorrow: 

And so, we'll take an Eagles break and get you the latest when it presumably breaks Monday.

UPDATE [7:00 p.m.] —Per Sam Carchidi of the Inquirer, Dave Hakstol may not have coached his last game for the Flyers, as was reported earlier Sunday afternoon (see below).

This story just keeps getting stranger. Stay tuned, indeed... 

UPDATE [4:40 p.m.] — According to Darren Dreger, this isn't a done deal just yet, however, the discrepancy could be due a timing issue, perhaps because the team has not informed Hakstol. 

It still seems as though this is going to happen, based on the reporting below. It's just a matter of when, although that's probably the last thing most Flyers want to hear at this point.


After plenty of speculation, scrutiny and, well, awful hockey, the Flyers finally made the decision to go in a new direction with head coach — to almost no one’s surprise.

According to Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post, the Flyers are firing Dave Hakstol after starting his fourth season with the franchise at a lowly 12-15-4. The announcement is expected to come Sunday night or Monday.

Perhaps more importantly, it appears the organization already has its next head coach picked out.

Sources also indicated that Joel Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, has been offered the position and accepted it. It’s unknown if he will make his debut Tuesday night when the Flyers play against the Detroit Red Wings at home or after the holiday break. If he waits, look for Lehigh Valley Phantoms coach Scott Gordon to be an interim head coach until Quenneville joins the club. ...

There is some familiarity between Quenneville and Flyers new general manager Chuck Fletcher.

Fletcher’s father, Cliff, made Quenneville a player-coach with the St. John’s Maple Leafs in the 1991-92 season, his first as president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  []

In his three-plus seasons with Philly, Hakstol went 134-101-42 during which time he led the Flyers to the playoffs twice — both first round exits in 2016 and 2018.

Even though the powers that be proclaimed him safe a few weeks ago, it seems they've now seen enough. Here’s what new GM Chuck Fletcher said in his introductory press conference.

“I’m a big believer in trying to get to know a situation before making a reaction,” he said. “I’d like to think we can solve a lot of the issues that have plagued the team this year and find a way to get better. I certainly have no intention of making a coaching change tomorrow, if that’s your question. I’m going to meet with Dave and we’re going to try to work together and push. Our goal is to try to make the playoffs this year, it’s that simple. We have work to do, and it’ll be a challenge. But there’s no reason why we can’t get better, and we can’t push to make the playoffs and find a way to get in.”

The firing comes a few weeks after the team decided to head in a “new direction” with the entire front office, relieving Ron Hextall of GM duties and bringing in Fletcher.

“I know everything that is out there,” Hakstol told the media prior to their recent Flyers' 5-1 loss to the Canucks. “You know me well enough by now. I know everything in terms of the rumors and what’s going on out there. My only concern is what we do, and the rest, I have no real comment on.”

The recent slide for the Flyers, losing 11 of their last 14 and their last four straight, isn’t necessarily all on the shoulders of Hakstol. He hasn’t had a single healthy or consistent goalie all season long — with a remarkable five netminders getting time in net over the team’s first 31 games.

More to come... 

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