Flyers Notes: Laviolette will be back as Flyers coach, Holmgren says

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was in a somber mood after his teams 7-3 win in Montreal on Monday night. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was in a somber mood after his teams 7-3 win in Montreal on Monday night. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)
Posted: April 30, 2013

Peter Laviolette will return as the Flyers' coach next season, general manager Paul Holmgren said on Sunday after the players cleaned out their lockers at their Voorhees practice facility.

Laviolette has two years remaining on his contract, but Holmgren had declined several chances to say the coach would return - until Sunday's news conference.

The Flyers finished 23-22-3 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Holmgren said he had "no doubts" that Laviolette still was getting his message through to the players after nearly four seasons as their head coach.

"I think our players played hard till the end," the GM said. "Did we execute good enough during the year? Probably not. That's why we're sitting here talking today. But I think our team played hard."

Added Holmgren: "I think Peter is a strong motivator, a strong tactician, and I expect him to lead our team back into the playoffs next year."

Plea for D

Winger Scott Hartnell made another plea for the Flyers to improve their defense in the offseason.

"I think probably the biggest area of concern for me is our D zone," said Hartnell, who on Friday said he hoped the Flyers could add a No. 1 defenseman.

"We didn't score as many goals as we did last year," he added. "But we gave up way too many five-on-five goals."

Bryz rips media

Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, still upset over reports that said he slept at a recent team meeting, criticized the media. Again.

"You guys just here to blame someone," he said. "You never look yourselves in the mirror, eh? You're always good. You never make the mistakes. Your articles are always perfect. In reality, what have you done for this city? If you ask yourself, what have you done besides only criticize? Not much."

Briere farewell?

Danny Briere is expected to be dealt or to have the Flyers buy out his contract, but the club hasn't approached him about waiving his no-trade clause.

"I've said it all along: My family's here, my kids are here. This is my first choice, this is where I want to be," Briere said. "But I understand it's a business, so we'll see what happens."

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