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Dreger: Stevens could be fired if Flyers don't improve soon

Darren Dreger
12/3/2009 11:40:10 PM
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By this stage in the season one year ago, three NHL coaches had lost their jobs.

Chicago dumped Denis Savard after just four games and replaced him with Joel Quenneville.

Tampa Bay fired Barry Melrose 16 games into the campaign - promoting Rick Tocchet - and Carolina returned Paul Maurice to the Hurricanes' bench after 25 games, at the expense of Peter Laviolette.

By the end of the season, seven head coaches had been dispatched, a list that grew by seven more in the off-season.

There have been no coaching casualties this season, but that could be about to change.

Sources say Philadelphia is poised to drop the axe on John Stevens if the Flyers do not start to make immediate progress.

A pre-season pick to challenge for the Stanley Cup, the Flyers have underachieved, lost six of seven - including tonight's 3-0 setback to Vancouver - and are believed to have divisions inside their room.

Stevens is on the hot seat, with a list of potential replacement that includes TSN analysts Peter Laviolette and Craig MacTavish, a former Flyer. Assistant coach Craig Berube would also be given some consideration.

In St. Louis, sources say the heat has been temporarily turned down on Andy Murray, but the Blues 30th-ranked powerplay will have to improve and the Blues will have to thrive in December, a tough month that includes a swing through Western Canada just before Christmas, for Murray to get relief from that heat.

In 2005, the Pittsburgh Penguins fired Ed Olczyk 31 games into the season, marking the last time the coaching fraternity made it to the 30-game mark without a single firing.

Darren Dreger

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