The Philadelphia Flyers wasted little time in appointing their new Head Coach to lead the franchise into the offseason and beyond. The team announced today that Alain Vigneault will replace Scott Gordon, becoming the 21st Head Coach in franchise history.
“We are extremely excited to have Alain join this franchise and lead our team behind the bench for many years to come,” said GM Chuck Fletcher. “He brings a tremendous amount of success over an extended period of time that will prove valuable to our team to take the next steps in returning the winning culture to the Philadelphia Flyers organization.”
The 57-year old has coached for 16 seasons at the NHL level, tallying 1,216 total games coached and 139 playoff games. Most recently, he spent five seasons with the New York Rangers, where four of those seasons saw the team record at least 45 wins.
Vigneault has a proven track record of advancing into the playoffs and a win percentage of .632 as a Head Coach.
The only real concern is that he tends to be a coach linked to a veteran presence and experienced players. The Flyers have spent the last five years developing one of the league’s most valuable farm systems and with so many hot prospects breaking into the NHL, one has to wonder what the future holds for them. But, he’s been with the team for less than an hour, so there’s no need to assume just yet.
The Flyers may well decide to mortgage their future and make a real run in 2019…or, they could just find key veterans to hold down the fort until the younger players are ready to make the jump. The fans will certainly have something to say about the hire…but the 57-year old seems ready for it.
“It is an honor to be selected as the next head coach of the Flyers,” said Vigneault. “The history they have established and the passionate fan base has made this a first-class franchise. I am excited to work with Chuck, the talented group of players, and the prospects coming up through the system in order to return Philadelphia to the top of the NHL landscape.”
In Vigneault’s 15 full seasons as a head coach, eight of his teams have finished with 100 points or better. His teams have won seven division championships between them and have made the playoffs 11 times in 16 years, advancing past the first round on eight of those occasions, and reaching the Stanley Cup Final twice (Vancouver, 2010-11 and NY Rangers, 2013-14). Will the Flyers be next?
Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports