At long last, Flyers fans got their wish early Monday afternoon as the Flyers announced Head Coach Dave Hakstol would be relieved of his duties.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) December 17, 2018
With that move, the Flyers had a need for a new head coach. It didn’t take long before the Flyers announced that Lehigh Valley Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon would serve as the interim head coach. Most people wanted former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville to fill the vacant head coaching spot but that doesn’t look like a possibly at the moment. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher had this to say when being asked about Coach Q during his press conference yesterday afternoon:
Fletcher: Q is under contract to Chicago. I have not asked Chicago for permission and have not spoken to Joel in about two years.
— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) December 17, 2018
So for the time being Scott Gordon is the head coach of the Flyers, so why don’t we dive in and take a look at what he has done in his time in professional hockey.
Scott Gordon, former head coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms is 55 years old and has been around hockey for a long time. In fact, Gordon played eight years of professional hockey as a goaltender. His coaching career began in 1994 when he was named an assistant coach for the Atlanta Knights who were a part of the International Hockey League. His first head coaching experience didn’t come until 1998 though when he was named head coach of Roanoke Express which is a team that is part of the ECHL. He later moved on to take a head coaching position with the Providence Bruins. He spent five seasons there and compiled a record of 221-141-47. Those are some pretty impressive numbers if I must say so myself.
The year of 2008 was when Gordon’s coaching career really took off as it was announced that he would become the head coach of the New York Islanders. Unfortunately for Gordon, his time there did not go to well. He was fired 17 games into the 2010-11 season as the Islanders struggled mightily starting the season with a record of 4-10-3. He finished off his tenure with the Islanders with a record of 64-94-23. Its safe to say that this was not the way he envisioned his time with the Islanders.
If you fast forward to this year, Gordon was in the middle of his fourth season with the Flyers AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. His success there was quite impressive as he finished with a record of 144-86-24. He also guided the Phantoms on there way to winning the division for the first time in over a decade last season.
So many people ask what Scott Gordon brings to this team. Well the number one thing he brings is experience with the young players. You have to remember that Gordon coached Travis Sanheim, Phil Varone, and most importantly the recently recalled goaltender Carter Hart. He knows the way these guys play. He watched them develop. I truly believe this is what the Flyers need. They need a coach who can work with the young guns. With Gordon now at the helm, Travis Sanheim will most likely get the ice time he deserves. He might even get time on the second powerplay unit. He’s paired with Ivan Provorov on the top defensive pair. That’s a heck of a start and what looks to be a hint that more ice time is coming.
Only time will tell if Gordon is the answer for the Flyers but you have to give him a chance. Show everyone what you got Scott and turn this train wreck around.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports