VINNY LECAVALIER and R.J. Umberger got one coach fired.

It will be fascinating to see how far they can erode the new coach's equity.

Lecavalier signed with the Flyers in 2013, before general manager Ron Hextall got the job. Hextall replaced popular, inconsistent Scott Hartnell with Umberger.

Lecavalier and Umberger occupied a whopping 14 percent of the Flyers' cap room this season. They occupied about 1 percent of the opposition's attention. They were disasters that first-time head coach Craig Berube was unable to solve in his first full season.

Other, younger players underachieved, too: Matt Read, Sean Couturier. Others enjoyed career seasons: Jake Voracek, Steve Mason.

Too few players played well and too many played poorly, and the goalie coach quit, and a lot of players complained, so Berube's head rolled. Berube bizarrely inherited the job three games into the 2013-14 season after Peter Laviolette was fired and turned that team into a playoff participant - a feat Hextall essentially discounted.

Berube then oversaw a 2014-15 season of injury and incompetence, making plenty of missteps along the way. He was derided for benching Lecavalier and playing Umberger, but you know what? Umberger was Hextall's acquisition, and, really, both could not take the ice and leave the Flyers with any chance to win.

Except Hextall didn't see it that way.

"A coach's job is to get the most out of his players," Hextall said. "That wasn't the case."

Berube's replacement will be asked to coax competence from the veterans; further mature the young stars, such as Claude Giroux and Voracek; develop emerging players such as Read and Couturier; and incorporate the Flyers' wealth of prospects as Hextall deems them fit for NHL play.

That's all.

There's a word for that sort of coach:


Hextall stressed that it would have been unfair of him to weigh players' feelings about Berube; that he did not seek their input; that he and former GM Paul Holmgren and meddlesome chairman Ed Snider agreed Berube had his chance and blew it.

One salvation season, one training camp and one season with a roster of over-the-hill players who simply continued their inevitable decline, on a team whose greatest leader (Kimmo Timonen) was absent because of injury and whose goalie twice missed time because of injury. Yeah, that sounds fair.

Berube's replacement will face similar challenges: a wildly inconsistent team absent any real leadership, with gaping holes and two veteran lodestones around its neck.

The task, said Hextall: "It's getting the most out of each individual and then collectively pulling that effort together, and in the end squeezing the most out of your team."

Even if there's not much there to squeeze.