The Philadelphia Flyers essentially blamed Ken Hitchcock for their early-season woes by firing him last weekend, but don't expect Hitchcock to harbor any bitterness toward his old team.
In fact, sources say that Hitchcock will meet with Flyers owner Ed Snider next week to talk about the possibility of Hitchcock remaining in the organization, likely as a pro scout or consultant.
Hitchcock is under contact with the Flyers for this campaign and the following two at $1.1 million per season, but is not the kind of person to simply sit back and collect pay checks while doing nothing to earn them. Sources say Hitchcock also realizes that the best way for him to maintain his contacts and prominence in the game would be to stay within the establishment and be seen working.
There's little chance Hitchcock's new position with the Flyers will be a permanent one. Chances are he'll do it for the rest of this season, then take a head coaching job with another team next summer. But with all the uncertainty out there and rumblings of discontent in places such as Tampa Bay, Detroit and Columbus, an opening might materialize for one of the game's best coaches sooner rather than later.
SAMSONOV READY TO PACK HIS SAMSONITE?: All is not well between the Montreal Canadiens and Sergei Samsonov as the $3.5-million winger who was recently demoted to the fourth line by Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau.
Samsonov and his agent are portraying the situation as a case of the Canadiens bailing out on the player, but exactly who's is bailing out on whom when Samsonov hints at wanting a trade at the first sign of adversity?
Samsonov was dropped to the fourth line during last Monday's 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
Â“If that's the case, then obviously I'm not needed here,Â” he said.
His agent Neil Abbott was more direct.
Â“Eight games in, they pull the plug?Â” Abbott said.
Again we ask, exactly who's pulling the plug here?
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