Alain Vigneault is an interesting man that has been a the helm of the Philadelphia Flyers since April 15, 2019. Under his leadership the Flyers have played some of the best and some of the worst hockey in recent Flyers history and there’s seemingly no end to the ebbs and flows that he’s faced. It has led fans to once again spark whispers of his potential demise. We’ve defended Vigneault once, but why not look at the pros and cons of firing the coach once again.
Craves the bloodlust
At this point the main reason behind firing AV is plain and simple, he’s the scapegoat and you get rid of him and just cross your fingers that rainbows and sunshine are not too far off in the distance. Whether it ends up being the right move or not, the pressure gauge within the fanbase drops dramatically and the leash is given to the next guy.
A fresh start
AV’s reign as head coach has been tumultuous to say the least. With the exception of the 2020-21 season which was a complete disaster, the group has always seemed to be just one step back from being truly competitive. The stuck-in-neutral feeling isn’t a great one especially considering how antsy the fanbase is getting. Folks are tired of waiting for almost a decade at this point to see some consistent, good hockey. Canning Vigneault and the cast of characters behind the bench at least gives the illusion that things are back to an even level and a fresh start that we all need.
It doesn’t actually solve anything
The biggest reason against firing Vigneault is pretty simple, it doesn’t actually change anything right now. Let’s say you fire him and bring on the next guy… then what? The roster is still ravaged by injuries, lacks any serious center depth and still features an underwhelming forward core. Two months from now, you’ll be complaining about the next guy for the same reasons you’ll be complaining about AV.
Who is the next guy?
The crop of head coaches right now isn’t exactly inspiring. Bruce Boudreau? Mike Babcock? John Tortorella? If you’re lucky maybe Rick Tocchet. But dollars to donuts says the next guy will actually be Mike Yeo, because there’s no way Chuck Fletcher will be able to contain himself. Now ask yourself, is Yeo a better option as head coach than Alain Vigneault?
Honestly, it’s hard to find a reason to keep Vigneault at this point BUT there doesn’t exactly seem to be greener grass on the other side either. Until a few enticing options get canned from their current teams, something that isn’t expected to happen anytime soon, they may just have to deal with Vigneault behind the bench. The problems with this current team stem from the fact that they were so bad for so long. Fletcher did have a great summer and flipped as much as he could, but given the flat cap and lack of big time free agents, he couldn’t couldn’t fix everything in one summer. They’re just a team that is in the middle of a transition from really bad to kinda good that just needs another summer or two of tweaks to build a competitive roster, but they just don’t have the luxury of time anymore with their stars getting older and the patience of the fans wearing thin.
Firing Vigneault may feel like a victory and temporarily ease the building tensions across the franchise, but if they don’t address the actual problems within the roster’s construction, all they’re doing is kicking the can down the street a little further for some other unlucky soul to deal with.
Just a word of warning before you jump on the “fire AV” bandwagon.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com