Flyers dismiss head coach Alain Vigneault, assistant Therrien after 8th straight loss

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The Flyers have fired head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant Michel Therrien following Sunday's 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Lightning, Philadelphia's eighth loss in a row and two shy of matching the team record. Mike Yeo will be interim bench boss for Monday's game against Colorado. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters - image credit)
The Flyers have fired head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant Michel Therrien following Sunday's 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Lightning, Philadelphia's eighth loss in a row and two shy of matching the team record. Mike Yeo will be interim bench boss for Monday's game against Colorado. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters - image credit)

An 8-10-4 record this season, highlighted by an eight-game losing streak, has cost Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant Michel Therrien their jobs, president of hockey operations and general manager Chuck Fletcher said Monday.

Assistant Mike Yeo has been named interim head coach for Monday's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Flyers suffered a 7-1 defeat on Sunday night at the hands of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I have played a lot of embarrassing games and this is definitely one of them," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "We need to figure it out pretty quick here."

Fletcher tried to blame injuries last week for the team's recent slide, but it became clear as the losses piled up, a change was needed.

"The last ten, we slipped back. There's no question," he said last week. "Now the onus is on our group to get it back. When injured players come back, it makes it easier. We can't kid ourselves. We have to get better."

On Monday he added: "Right now, we've lost our way."

The last time Philadelphia dropped eight in a row (0-6-2) was Dec. 27, 2018 to Jan. 8, 2019, two shy of tying the franchise record set that season.

Vigneault, who was in his third season with Philadelphia, compiled a 147-74-54 mark and missed the playoffs last season. The 60-year-old previously led the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup final and has won more than 700 games as an NHL coach.

It's up to Yeo, at least in the short-term, to figure out how to fix the Flyers. He was fired by the St. Louis Blues in November 2018, joining the club as an assistant in 2016 after five seasons with Minnesota. The Wild made the playoffs in three of Yeo's four full seasons, and he was fired 55 games into 2015-16.

Roster makeover

"This is an opportunity for me to prove that I've grown," Yeo said.

Fletcher was GM in Minnesota when Yeo coached the Wild and the new coach will likely get some games to prove he can steer the Flyers toward a playoff run. Yeo and Fletcher were scheduled to hold a news conference later Monday.

"The focus is not on interviewing people and rushing to hire a head coach. It's to support Mike," Fletcher said.

Fletcher overhauled the roster following last season's 25-23-8 record (58 points) under Vigneault. The Flyers gave out rich contract extensions to Joel Farabee and Carter Hart and an eight-year, $62-million US deal to Sean Couturier. Fletcher acquired defencemen Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen and signed Keith Yandle and Derick Brassard. The Flyers also signed backup goaltender Martin Jones and traded for forward Cam Atkinson.

Again in Philly, the changes weren't enough to make the Flyer a championship contender. They haven't won the Cup since consecutive championships in 1974 and 1975.

"I can't speak for the last 10 years. most of these guys haven't been here that long," Fletcher said. "The process right now isn't right. We have to get back to playing the right way."

The Flyers instead are trying to avoid a 10-game losing streak for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

"Last night was a good example that our game wasn't good enough and getting embarrassed in your own building, it's not acceptable," Giroux said before Monday's game.

Giroux has played entire his career with the Flyers since his 2007 debut and ranks among the franchise's career leaders in most offensive categories playing for coaches John Stevens, Peter Laviolette, Craig Berube, Dave Hakstol, Scott Gordon, Vigneault and now Yeo.

The 33-year-old centre is in the final season of an eight-year, $66-million US deal and could waive his no-movement clause and ask for a trade to a contender.

"Right now, you look at our group and we don't have an identity," Giroux said. "We get a goal scored on us and we kind of stop playing. We need to find our confidence within this group. We need to believe that even if a team scores the first goal that we just have to keep playing our game. "

Vigneault also made headlines in October when former Flyers goalie Robin Lehner accused him of giving players drugs without doctor's consent.

Lehner also singled out Vigneault, despite never having played for him, calling the veteran coach "a dinosaur."

"Dinosaur coach treating people robots not human," Lehner wrote on Twitter. "Fire these dinosaurs. Fire .vigneault first story. I got proof … try to shake your way out of this one."

The Flyers haven't made the Stanley Cup Final since it lost to Chicago in 2010.

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