The Philadelphia Flyers will have an extremely experienced coaching staff next season. The team announced today that joining new head coach Alain Vigneault behind the bench will be Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo, both former NHL head coaches themselves. Scott Gordon, who was serving as interim coach this season will return to the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms as head coach, while Ian Laperriere, Kim Dillagbaugh and Adam Patterson will also remain with the NHL coaching staff. Kris Knoblauch and Rick Wilson will not be returning.
Vigneault had this to say about his new coaching staff:
I am excited to add Michel and Mike on our coaching staff to work alongside Ian Laperriere, Kim Dillabaugh and Adam Patterson. Both men have enjoyed success at all levels throughout their coaching careers, including working together at the NHL level. Each brings a considerable amount of experience and knowledge to our group, which I have no doubt will help lead our team to immediate success.
The head coach is referring to Therrien and Yeo’s time together with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, when the latter served as an assistant on the former’s bench at both the AHL and NHL levels. That familiarity will hopefully help them as they transition to the Flyers, and lead to a playoff berth as soon as possible. Philadelphia is loaded with young players and prospects, but hasn’t been able to put it all together and contend in recent years.
It is important to note Knoblauch here, as the 40-year old was a highly touted coaching prospect before he joined the Flyers two years ago. He had coached both the Kootenay Ice and Erie Otters to league championships, taking both teams to the Memorial Cup. His overall record as a head coach in the CHL was 298-130-29 and several teams had considered him for their own coaching vacancies in the past.