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Flyers sign Laviolette to contract extension

Wednesday, 08.01.2012 / 10:55 AM / News

NHL.com

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren on Wednesday announced that the team has come to terms with coach Peter Laviolette on a multiyear contract extension.

Details of the extension were not disclosed, but CSNPhilly.com is reporting it is for two years, starting after his current contract expires after the 2012-13 season.

Laviolette, who was named the 17th coach in Flyers history on Dec. 4, 2009, is 112-73-26 in the regular season and 23-22 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs during his tenure in Philadelphia.

"Peter and I have a strong relationship," Holmgren said. "We talked about it briefly at the end of the year and we had our own business to work through with the draft, July 1, and all the other stuff that goes on. There was never a question that this wasn't going to get done. I am very happy to have it done. Peter is a tremendous coach in our League and he is has done a tremendous job for the Flyers. I know that is going to continue. He is a good man and very deserving of this."

Laviolette, 47, has led the Flyers to back-to-back 47-win seasons. The Flyers have won at least one playoff series in each of his three seasons. After going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010, the past two seasons have seen the Flyers eliminated in the conference semifinals, including a five-game series loss to the New Jersey Devils this spring.

"I was really excited to come to a market like Philadelphia, and an organization with the history, the ownership, and working for Paul," Laviolette said via conference call on Wednesday. "I'm as excited today as I was back then about being able to move forward. There's a great group of players here and to come back and be able to continue to work here is where I want to be. Philadelphia is a big market and I was really excited back then and I'm still really excited about that."

Since hiring Laviolette, Philadelphia has the third-most wins in the Eastern Conference (122), behind Pittsburgh and Washington, who each have 127. Over the past two full seasons, the Flyers are second in the Eastern Conference and third in the NHL in points (209).

Laviolette was asked if he has any concerns on defense after the loss of Matt Carle via free agency to Tampa Bay and the possibility of Chris Pronger retiring.

"I think when you look at a guy like Shea Weber, there are probably a lot of teams that wish they had a player of his caliber on their club," Laviolette said of the free agent who is staying with the Nashville Predators. "Our team moved forward without Shea [Weber] last year. We dealt with certain injuries and things that I think our club had to overcome. We used a lot of good, young defensemen and a lot of good players. I am excited about the players that we brought into the fold this year. I think it is going to be an exciting time to be building it back up from where we left off and adding the new players to the mix. I feel good about the players that we have under contract and moving forward."

The Flyers received contributions from youngsters Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Brandon Manning last season. Bourdon played 45 games with the Flyers, and Gustafsson appeared in 30 contests during 2011-12. Manning saw action in four matches.

Holmgren also said defenseman Andrej Meszaros (back) is healing fine. The GM is also confident a new deal can be finalized for restricted free-agent blueliner Bourdon.

"The contract part is ongoing but I expect in the near future we'll get something done with Marc-Andre," Holmgren said.

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1