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Letters To Lavi - PART 4

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Earlier this summer Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette answered fans questions. After the Draft, Free Agency and some big Flyers trades, Lavi’s back for more and takes the time to answer your questions…


Q: When will the fans discover who the next captain is?

“At this point we’re not in any rush to name the captain. Once training camp starts and we get everybody back in here (there’s not a lot of accessibility of the players during the summer). Once everybody gets back in here myself and Paul Holmgren will start having discussions and talk about the options that we have in front of us. Then we start talking to the players. I think we’ll get to that point where we do name a captain, but at this point it’s not on the radar in immediate, near future.”

Q: Since you have taken over the coaching job, I've noticed your offensive, and aggressive style you implement to your team. Do you think you may have to change your style of play to a more defensive, or hope the replacements of your two top scorers, adjust to your play?

“No. I actually think when you talk about trying to be more defensive, we have a good defense and now we have the goaltender that we were looking for this summer, so I think defensively we’re in good shape. The challenge will be to implement that offensive and aggressive style with regards to our team, not necessarily our forwards. We’ll be looking for more contributions from some of our players and then from some of our new players for them to jump in, and learn the attack of our system and get that down pat as soon as possible. I really feel like we have to try and teach that offensive and aggressive part of the game, and the identity on how we want to play and really make sure that we go after that.”

Q: Do you feel the game has changed a lot due to all the rule changes after the lockout?

“There’s no question that the game changed after the lockout. You’re not allowed to hold people up and you used to be able to hook someone in the neutral zone and be able to forecheck better. There’s a lot more speed to the game because you’re not allowed to hook and hold and use extended arms, so for me that’s probably the biggest change that’s occurred in the game.”

Q: Richards and Carter were both stars in the World Juniors when they were younger. Now you've traded for Schenn who was obviously a machine last year. How important do you think international junior experience is and why?

“When you talk about those players you’re talking about some of the best players in the world that represent their country and right now I think its part of the process. There’s no question that it does help as far as experience. Both Richards, Carter, Schenn and even Sean [Couturier] for that matter all went through the junior process and I do think that it adds to their development.”

Q: I would like to know what goes into selecting a captain for a hockey team. I've heard lots of different views on how a captain is chosen. I'd like to hear your thoughts and how the process works in Philly…

“I really think that the captain should be somebody who represents the leadership on the team and not a popularity contest, not a point or production thing. It’s somebody who has the makings of captain from what they say, how they act and how they train; their relationship with the coach and the organization. I think that through time and what we already know about the players that we have and what we learn about our players coming into the organization, there will be a process we go through where we will name a captain and assistant captain.”

Q: How do you think the trade of Leino will affect the number of goals Briere gets and his play?

“Certainly Ville’s a good player, but if you look at the pieces that were brought in with [Jake] Voracek, [Jaromir] Jagr and [Brayden] Schenn, it’s going to allow more opportunity for JVR and Claude Giroux. How it all pans out in the regular season and the line combinations? That’s what training camp will be utilized for. With regard to Briere, I’m sure they’ll be a lot of players here for him. I hear that Voracek is a Ville Leino type player. We have a kid coming up here in Matt Read that sees the ice well, so there will be different options in training camp, but I’m sure that Danny will score goals this year.”

Q: How much time off do you take over the summer before you start focusing on the upcoming season? What do you do to get away from the game, if that's possible?

“Our family lives down in Florida so once the kids get out of school we head down there for a little bit. The players are away doing their thing and there’s not much going on in the building. We get back at the beginning of August and it gives us about two weeks to get going and get ready for camp. There are some conversations with players, some camps and the draft that goes on in the summer and different things like that. Right now we’re getting down to that point where it’s go time and I think everybody’s pretty excited about that.”
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