Says Frank Seravalli, formerly of the Philly Daily News, on The Sports Network:

Rarely does a team allow a coach to dangle out there like the Flyers did with Dave Hakstol, who was mercifully fired yesterday after parts of four seasons at the helm.

That a coaching change became necessary was no shock.

The Flyers rolled over and quit on Hakstol on their swing through Western Canada.

It was the execution that was botched.

Hours after a report surfaced on Sunday that Hakstol was fired, the Flyers denied the story and said definitively: “Dave Hakstol is our coach.” A spokesman said practice would resume on Monday and even after the team took the ice without Hakstol, there was no official word.

A mess was made of Hakstol for the hockey world to see, an embarrassing fumble played out in real time on social media for one of the game’s proudest franchises.

The Flyers have sliced and diced plenty over their 51 years – from Roger Neilson and then-GM Bob Clarke saying “we didn’t tell him to go get cancer” to firing Peter Laviolette three games into a season – but someone must have forgotten to sharpen the guillotine in South Philadelphia.

“I just felt there was a disconnect,” Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said of Hakstol and his team. “When the communication breaks down, I guess … when the message wasn’t received you get to a point where this is what happens. You make a change and you try to get a different voice … I felt it was in everybody’s best interest, including Dave, to make this decision sooner rather than later once it came to this point.”

Hakstol was fired amid one of the bloodiest stretches for coaches in NHL history.

Five coaches have been canned over the last 44 days since Los Angeles axed John Stevens on Nov. 4, including Joel Quenneville in Chicago on Nov. 6, Mike Yeo in St. Louis on Nov. 19, Todd McLellan in Edmonton on Nov. 20 and Hakstol.

Only one season in the history of the game has seen more in-season coaching changes than this one – in 2011-12 when seven bench bosses were fired.

We still have a week to go until Christmas. Perhaps the spirit of the NHL’s unique holiday roster freeze can be extended behind the bench.

Because the volatility has been incredible, even for NHL standards. Case in point: Hakstol had not made it three and a half seasons with the Flyers, where he was already the third-longest tenured coach in franchise history, and only three men in the NHL had been at their post longer: Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper, Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice and Nashville’s Laviolette.

More than one-third of the NHL (11 teams) has turned over coaching staffs since the buzzer sounded on the end of last regular season in April. That was bound to happen after last season was the first in the expansion era to not have a single in-season coaching change.

And more change is on the way:

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