The Flyers head coach is still Craig Berube. Will he be tomorrow? Ron Hextall had no answer for that in his season-ending press conference.
“At this point he’s our head coach,” Flyers’ general manager Ron Hextall said Wednesday.”If something changes I’ll let you guys know. … at this point the decision hasn’t been made.”
After missing the playoffs with a 33-31-18 record, Philly found itself emptying its lockers instead of dressing for a playoff game. That the team is disappointed is an understatement.
“Our guys were extremely disappointed,” Hextall said.”You can tell when people are saying that or when they really mean it and our guys meant it.”
Hextall said he spoke with BerubeSunday (even though Berube said Monday he had yet to talk to the GM). Hextall said his coach knows a decision has yet to be made. But why the delay?
“The wait is, I am going to be methodical,” Hextall said.”I am going to make the right decision.I am not going to make a quick decision to appease people or to follow what is supposed to be done. I am going to do the due diligence to make the right decision.”
“I am not going to make a hasty decision and look back and regret it.”
It was a year that saw Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracekfinish in the top 10 in scoring, saw Steve Mason break through as one of the top goalies in the league and Mark Streit and Michael Del Zottoemerge as potent defenders. But they still missed the postseason.
“That’s probably not typical,” Hextall said.
Turning the page to 2015-16, will the Flyers be content to rebuild, with so many promising prospects working through the system en route to the NHL?
“Our goal next year is to make the payoffs,” Hextall said, rejecting the notion that the team will rebuild.”If we can do something with our personnel to be better in October, we will do it without question if it doesn’t sacrifice our future.”
The GM also underlined that they are also not going to trade away assets, whether they be prospects or draft picks, to bring in veterans to help bring leadership or stability. He wants the leadership to come from inside the organization from guys like Streit, Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
“Our leadership is young, it needs to get better, it needs to come from within,” he said.”Leadership is average onour team. We need to bump it up.”
The GM also made it clear the team intends to resign Del Zotto, and that he’d”like to find an upgrade on defense. A skilled forward. That’s my wish list.”
He also said he would not consider buying out the contract of Vincent Lecavalier, the underachieving andoverpaidveteran. Meaning he’ll eitherbe back or in a different uniform next season.