The Philadelphia Flyers have hired Nick Schultz as a player development coach, beginning his transition from a playing career that only ended a couple of seasons ago. The former Flyers defenseman retired in 2017 after 1,069 games in the NHL, most of which were spent in a Minnesota Wild uniform. Originally selected in the second round by the Wild in 2000, he carved out a career as a stay at home defender that could be relied on in the toughest situations. He released a statement on his new position:
It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to working with the guys, helping [director of player development] Kjell Samuelsson with the defensemen, and getting to know the kids and their game a little bit. I’m looking forward to working with them throughout the year, watching them play and helping them make it to the next step, and ultimately one day become a Flyer.
The Flyers made a pair of other promotions in the hockey operations staff as they continue to transition under relatively new GM Chuck Fletcher. Some other coaching notes from around the league:
- Not only is Craig Berube sticking around as St. Louis Blues head coach after agreeing to a multi-year contract this week, but the entire coaching staff. St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong announced that all of the current assistants would be returning next season, though the team may add another one because of the vacancy left when they promoted Berube during the year. Mike Van Ryn and Steve Ott currently serve as assistants for Berube.
- Another team that is looking for assistants is the Ottawa Senators, and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that candidates for the job include Stu Barnes, Kris Knoblauch, Dave Lowry, Davis Payne and Manny Viveiros. If it were Knoblauch, who served as an assistant with the Flyers the last two seasons, it would be a meeting of former enemies as Senators head coach D.J. Smith was behind the bench of the Oshawa Generals when they defeated Knoblauch’s Erie Otters in the 2015 OHL Championship. Smith already brought in Jack Capuano to serve as an associate coach and lend some experience to the staff.