Flyers part ways with Mike Yeo, will begin coaching search

mike yeo flyers
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Mike Yeo will not be back with the Philadelphia Flyers next season as head coach, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced on Tuesday.

Yeo took over as interim head coach on Dec. 6 after the team dismissed Alain Vigneault. The Flyers went 17-36-7 during his time behind the bench and finished last in the Metropolitan Division, missing out on the playoffs for a second straight season. This is the first time the franchise has missed the postseason in consecutive years since 1990-94.

The Flyers have the fourth-best odds (9.5%) in next week’s NHL draft lottery.

Fletcher noted Yeo could return to the organization in some capacity next season if he doesn’t land a job elsewhere.

Yeo’s difficult job

It was a season to forget in Philadelphia with the Flyers crippled by injuries. Numerous key players were regularly out of the lineup, including Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, Ryan Ellis, and Joel Farabee.

We dealt Mike a real tough hand. He’s a good coach,” Fletcher said. “I thought he did a really good job under the circumstances.”

As part of the ownership directive for an “aggressive retool,” Fletcher traded away captain Claude Giroux, Derick Brassard, and Justin Braun to recoup assets for the future. There are no major pending unrestricted free agents on the roster and they will have a little over $7 million in salary cap space entering the offseason, per CapFriendly.

Last summer Fletcher went out and remolded his blue line, bringing in Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, and also added Cam Atkinson up front. Post-trade deadline, roster spots opened up allowing them to see the likes of Bobby Brink, Noah Cates, Ronnie Attard, and Cam York perform at the NHL to determine if their futures see them starting in the AHL or NHL next season.

“An aggressive retool to me is being aggressive in every area,” Fletcher said. “I think we’ve already started.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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