Could Laviolette and Collins both be on the hot seat this year?

Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette may find himself on the hot seat this season without a deep playoff run.Philadelphia is a very passionate town, especially when it comes to its sports teams. The sometimes blind following, though, does come with a caveat. WIN. Win something. Even if its a division or conference. As long as you win in this town, the fans stay relatively happy. Winning a championship is obviously the penultimate (See Charlie Manual). Andy Reid enjoyed many winning seasons in Philadelphia, but towards the end, when the winning went away, so did Andy. This season could be the end of Manual, as too, the winning has gone away lately.

The 2 other coaches in this city could be facing some impending danger. Doug Collins overachieved last season, by taking the 76ers to the 2nd round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Then the expectations came. Not only did people expect the same from this season, with the addition Andrew Bynum, they expected even more. Of course, we all know Bynum has not touched the floor this season, and it sounds like he may never play a game in a 76ers uniform this season. Bynum injury aside, the young core of this 76ers team is still the same as it was last season. Jrue Holiday seems to be having the best season of his young career. Evan Turner seems to be figuring out his role, and really coming into his own. All that said, the 76ers are currently 15-22, in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, and 4 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot. Collins seemed to be the coach in Philadelphia with the most job security at the end of  last season, but as of now, I would put Collins towards the hot seat.

Without Bynum, the Sixers do not have a chance in the Eastern Conference  even if they were able to sneak into the playoffs. Then there comes the decision of what to do with Bynum in the future. All of this will play into Doug Collins’ future with the Sixers.

Peter Laviolette is by far the most popular coach in this city. Between the success he has experienced and his lively appearances on the HBO 24/7 special. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard him say “Jam” once or twice. He has only been coaching the Flyers for 3 seasons, but in those seasons he has been to the playoffs all 3 times. He even took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 2009-10. He has had a very talented team to coach, and that is why many think he has underachieved in his few years in Philadelphia. The Flyers are also an organization that will go out and make the moves and changes it needs to to win the Stanley Cup. Since Lavy has been here, they have traded away their leading goal scorer (Jeff Carter) and team captain (Mike Richards), and signed the top goaltender free agent in Ilya Bryzgalov. They have also made numerous little moves to bolster the roster. During this past off season, they traded away a very good, young player in James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn.

All of this adds up to mounting pressure on Laviolette for this upcoming season. With the lockout having ruined almost half of the season, a 48 game schedule may not be a great opportunity for Lavy to have his team gel and come together like they would if they had a full 82 game schedule. For that reason, I think Laviolette will not only coach this entire season, but he will be back behind the bench the following season. I will say this though, if the Flyers fail to go deep in the playoffs this year, even with the shortened season, Lavy will find himself in the crosshairs of an angry, Stanley Cup starved fanbase. 2013-14 could be the make or break season for Peter Laviolette and his future with the Flyers.

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Paul Dorn

Paul Dorn enjoys the good things in life..."It's Always Sunny.., The Inbetweeners, The Office, South Park, etc." He's an Eagles nut, Phillies apologist, and University of Arizona Wildcat. A hockey player all his life he's been playing golf for almost as long. Follow him on Twitter @PDorn10.