Philly always exciting: Amonte

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Calgary Flames forward Tony Amonte was surprised yesterday to hear the Philadelphia Flyers fired head coach Ken Hitchcock and GM Bob Clarke resigned.

That being said, he was hardly knocked to the floor in shock.

"It's still early in the season but coming out of Philly, you have to expect anything out of there," said Amonte, who spent one-and-a-half seasons with the Flyers.

"They're a team that always shakes things up and makes a lot of changes."

The Flyers, last in the NHL at 1-6-1 and off to their worst start in 17 years, swung the axe yesterday morning.

"It looks like (Hitchcock) kinda lost the guys," Amonte said. "I think losing Primeau (injured captain Keith Primeau) hurt Hitch as well as hurting the team. Primeau is a big believer in Hitch's systems and without him there, it kinda looks like the team took a different direction."

John Stevens was appointed head coach from his assistant's role and former Flyers coach Paul Holmgren was promoted from assistant GM to interim GM.

Stevens, a former Flyer who coached the team's AHL affiliate, will be behind the bench when the Flyers play at home Thursday against Atlanta.

He led the Phantoms to the Calder Cup championship in 2005.

Flyers chairman Ed Snider said he decided to fire Hitchcock after the Buffalo loss, one of the worst in the franchise's 40-year history.

"We don't expect miracles but we're hoping for a lot better results," Snider said.

Amonte said the constant upheaval -- this is just the latest chapter in the wacky history of the Flyers -- actually made life with the organization exciting.

"There's always something happening there. Never a dull moment," he said. "With trades and guys coming up and down, it just seems there's always something going on there.

"That's kind of what made it fun to play there. it really made it exciting to go to the rink every day. The fans are big-time into it and hungry for a winner."


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