PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In his first interview since being fired on April 17th, former Flyers head coach Craig Berube admitted on SportsRadio 94WIP that he was “surprised” of the decision.READ MORE: Southwest Philadelphia Block Renamed After Rev. Paul 'Earthquake' Moore
“I think yeah, you’re always surprised when you get let go,” Berube told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “I expected to come back and coach again. Decisions are made, [general manager] Ron [Hextall] has to do what’s best for the hockey team and that’s what he did.
Listen: Craig Berube on the 94WIP Morning Show
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“Well I just think that, like he [Hextall] said, I didn’t get enough out of the team,” Berube said, when asked why he was let go. “He [Hextall] believed it was a playoff team and I do believe it was a playoff team too, but there was some stuff. Injuries, different situations that came up that costs us the playoffs and a lot of times it comes down to the coach.”
One of the most controversial stories of the season was Berube’s relationship with veteran center Vincent Lecavalier, who scored just eight goals in his second season with the Flyers. The four-time NHL all-star, who was often scratched and eventually moved from his natural center position by Berube, admitted publicly that he would be best suited if the Flyers made a coaching change.
How did Berube react to that?
“I didn’t. Did I? Vinny had a great career, he produced, and he did a lot of great things in his career,” Berube said. “He feels he’s a higher level player still and that’s great. He should think that, but like I said, my job is to do what’s best for the hockey team and that’s what I do. I don’t put a player ahead of the team and I won’t do that. The team is the most important thing and that’s exactly how I played that card.MORE NEWS: Camden County Voters Trickle In As New Jersey Starts Early Voting For The First Time
“I did what was best for the team with Vinny,” Berube continued. “I thought that I gave him ample opportunity to produce and to perform. I pulled him out of the middle of the ice because I didn’t feel like he could perform at the level I needed him to, to play that position.”