|Laviolette and Holmgren are safe for now. (Getty Images)|
The season couldn't have started much worse for the Philadelphia Flyers. They are 6-9-1, three points out of a playoff spot and nine points back of division-leading Pittsburgh. They have a minus-11 goal differential as a team.
Needless to say, that's not how things are supposed to go for the Philadelphia Flyers. It's a franchise that lives near the salary cap and expects to be a contender year in, year out.
So, does this awfully slow start spell doom for the men in charge, GM Paul Holmgren and coach Peter Laviolette? It doesn't look that way.
Asked if the Flyers' dismal start had put the jobs of the head coach and the general manager in jeopardy, Peter Luukko didn't hesitate.
"Absolutely not," said Luukko, president of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor. "We just need to be patient, and to even think the general manager or coach are in trouble [is false]. It's not an issue."
That's pretty straightforward; not a whole lot of wiggle room or anything like that. They aren't in trouble. While the coach and GM might not be at the moment, they could be if things don't get better by the end of the season. There is plenty of time for the Flyers to get going and into playoff position. But if they don't, it won't be pretty.
The Flyers have certainly been hurt by injuries, particularly the loss of Scott Hartnell, who meant so much to the team last season. But that's not an excuse that's going to fly. Every team deals with injuries. It seems this season, in particular, players are getting hurt a lot.
The reality is the team lost a few key players in the offseason like Matt Carle, James van Riemsdyk and Jaromir Jagr but didn't seem to do an excellent job in replacing them. Luke Schenn has been alright, but Ruslan Fedotenko and Bruno Gervais hardly seem like guys capable of filling some big holes.
Both Holmgren and Laviolette have good track records, so that's likely to give them a little bit more slack. But, just to be safe, they might want to get the team turned around and headed in the right direction.