Sunday, October 22, 2006

Clarke and Hitchcock Gone

According to Tim Pannaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bobby Clarke has resigned and Ken Hitchcock has been fired. The moves will be announced at a press conference this morning at 10 am.

While it isn't completely shocking given how the team has started, Clarke has been the face of the franchise since rejoining the Flyers in 1994 and Hitchcock is regarded throughout the hockey world as a great coach.

Some names mentioned on Hockey Night in Canada as possible replacements were Mike Keenan, Pat Quinn and Andy Murray.

TSN is reporting that assisstant coach John Stevens will be promoted and Paul Holmgren will take over Clarke's duties but it is unclear if this is just on an interim basis.

Clarke has been the GM since 1994 and in his ten seasons the Flyers have never dropped below the 93-point mark, finishing above 100 on seven occassions. His greatest failure was his inability to land a bonafide starting goaltender who could take the team to the next level - putting his faith in Vanbiesbrouck, Boucher, Cechmanek, Esche, Hackett, Burke and Niittymaki.

Hitchcock signed a three-year extension in training camp, so all things considering he will come out of this ok. Hitch will most certainly land on his feet when he is ready to coach again.

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