Changes coming for Philadelphia Flyers but Alain Vigneault will remain as head coach
The Philadelphia Flyers will have Alain Vigneault back again next season behind the bench, but changes are coming this summer. That wasn’t a certainty just a few days ago when they wrapped up their season as many wondered if Vigneault would survive. GM Chuck Fletcher provided the answer to that question today.
Flyers to keep Alain Vigneault
Pierre LeBrun spoke with the Flyers GM and asked directly about Vigneault. “Absolutely. AV’s our coach and we’re excited to have he and his staff back next season,’’ he said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us to redefine our defensive game and our defensive structure. I can’t think of a better group to do it than the group of experienced coaches that we have behind our bench right now.’’
With the coaching situation settled, the focus has to be on making the significant changes needed to get back into the playoffs. Primarily, on defense which has been a mess since Matt Niskanen retired. “I did a poor job of filling that void,” Fletcher explained taking the brunt of the blame. “It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but we didn’t do what we needed to do. And that falls on me.’’
According to rumors, the Flyers were in on both Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis before Nashville pulled them off the table.
Flyers offseason shopping list
Flyers chairman, Dave Scott voiced his frustration to the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this month. “I’m angry. I’m frustrated,” he lamented. “Everyone keeps saying they’re disappointed, and it’s beyond disappointment where we’re sitting today.”
According to Sam Carchidi the Flyers chairman believes they need another scorer, top pairing defenseman, and a backup to Carter Hart. “All I can tell you is that we’re going to have a busy summer.” Scott continued. “I’m determined to get his thing back on track, and that ‘s everything from spending to the cap and giving the resources to Chuck and A.V. (Alain Vigneault).”
The Flyers have around $11 million in cap space and will need to shed salary to fulfill Scott’s wish list. They have been linked to Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau for the longest time and were interested in Ryan Ellis in Nashville as mentioned before.
Carchidi also relayed that Scott wasn’t happy with the job the coaching staff did this season. Scott did also say that Vigneault has his full support. Now we know for sure that AV isn’t going anywhere.