10.22.06

Floundering Flyers Fire Hitchcock, Clarke Resigns

Posted in Hockey at 11:19 am by

The Philadelpha Inquirer’s Tim Panaccio reports that Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock has been fired, while Bobby Clarke, GM of the team for nearly 20 years, has resigned.

Assistant John Stevens will become head coach, and assistant general manager Paul Holmgren will be the new general manager, owner Ed Snider said at a news conference Sunday.

The Flyers have the fewest points in the NHL. Their five-game losing streak is the worst in five seasons.

“The decisions that had to be made, I was letting other people make them,” said Clarke, acknowledging he was burned out. “I deeply regret not being able to bring a Stanley Cup here. … I didn’t deliver.”

Snider said he began evaluating the team after an embarrassing 9-1 loss to Buffalo last week and decided change was needed.

Stevens will be behind the bench when the Flyers next play, at home Thursday against Atlanta.

In 10 NHL seasons with Dallas and Philadelphia, Hitchcock is 408-249-100. He is 66-51 in playoff games and won the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.

It is believed the club asked for Clarke’s resignation Friday night. Earlier Friday, Clarke said he took responsibility for how poorly the club had began this season.

Clarke (above) played for the Flyers from 1969-84 and scored 358 goals and 1210 points, finishing his career as their career leader in assists (852), points (1,210), and games (1,144). He was captain of the famed “Broad Street Bullies” teams in the 1970s.

Clarke immediately went from playing into management, holding the GM role from 1984-90. He returned to the position in 1994, famously feuding with Eric Lindros in the late 1990s.

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