The Philadelphia Flyers have hired a former stud Head Coach of the Erie Otters, Kris Knoblauch as an Assistant Coach. Knoblauch replaces former assistant coach of the power play unit Joey Mullen. So what does that mean for Head Coach Dave Hakstol and the Flyers?
Hakstol has been a solid head coach in the NHL since leaving the University of North Dakota in 2015. He has a record of 80-60-24 as head coach of the Flyers, and guided them to an unexpected playoff run in the 2015-16 season.
After the Flyers had an inconsistent campaign in 2016-17, and thus falling short of the playoffs. One had to believe that Hakstol was on the hot seat after just two season’s into coaching the Flyers. However, at season’s end General Manager Ron Hextall said Hakstol’s coaching job was safe. This Knoblauch hiring leaves us with one question. Does this hire change things? As of right now no.
Knoblauch has coached the likes of stars and superstars like Connor McDavid, Andre Burakovsky, and Dylan Strome. Moreover, he has coached a whopping 19 players that have reached the NHL level. Knoblauch is just happy to be a part of the Flyers and Hakstol’s regime.
“I’m very excited not only for a chance to coach in the National Hockey League, but also to join an organization like the Flyers and to work with Ron (Hextall) and Dave (Hakstol) and the rest of the staff,” Knoblauch said. “It’s a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
Knoblauch comes to the Flyers with a heck of a coaching resume for the Otters. He was 216-83 as Head Coach of the Otters. Knoblauch also guided the Otters to the playoffs 4 out of his 5 years coaching for them. Adding to his resume they won the championship this past season. With this stud resume there was little shock why Hextall coveted him.
“Kris has had great success at the junior level with the Erie Otters and Kootenay Ice,” Hextall said. “He’s coached a lot of good young offensive gifted players. We feel he is a real good fit with our group and we’re excited to have him in our organization.”
One thing that is certain is that Hakstol’s job is safe for now. However, if the Flyers faulter after the 2017-18 season, there could very well be a coaching change. This season is make or break for Hakstol. Hopefully the Flyers have a strong rebound season, and they do not have to make a decision on a coach at season’s end.
In Flyers Draft News:
On Wednesday, the Flyers brought possible 2nd overall pick Nolan Patrick in for a medical exam with team doctors at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. According to GM Ron Hextall, they have “More clarity now,” when referring to his previous medical injuries. However, he would not go into detail of the medical report.
Follow me on Twitter @Jamey Baskow for all Flyers updates.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News via AP