The Flyers are trying to become a consistent hockey team next season. One way to do that is having a Special Teams Unit to fuel the fire. Well, hiring Michel Therrien to replace Ian Laperriere as the next PK Coach is a step in the right direction for this club.
Therrien is a structured coach. He likes organization, and Therrien expects the most out of his players. Therrien commands respect from his players and has a Defense first mentality. The Flyers PK has suffered for years under “Lappy.” They have been bottom feeders in this category, and it’s lead to an inconsistent hockey team for the past 7 or 8 years. Last season, the Flyers sat 26th in the league on the PK, with a Penalty Killing rate of 78.5%. This is simply not good enough, even though the PK did get better the second half of the year under Interim Head Coach Scott Gordon. Lappy deserves credit, as well, for the PK improving as the season wore on last season, but it was too little too late.
“I am excited to add Michel and Mike on our coaching staff to work alongside Ian Laperriere, Kim Dillabaugh and Adam Patterson,” said Vigneault in a press release. “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.”
If the Flyers want to take the next step of the rebuild, per se, then a change had to be made. Enter Therrien, a once Head Coach that was fired from the Montreal Canadiens on February 14, 2017. After Therrien was terminated from the Canadiens it became apparent the players gave up on him, and there were a few verbal jabs between him and some of the players as he departed.
It is worth noting however that the Canadiens made the playoffs in each of Therrien’s first three seasons.
Therrien looks to right a new ship with the Flyers, as he has remained friends with Alain Vigneault. In addition, Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher was an assistant GM with the Penguins when Therrien was promoted from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to Pittsburgh in 2005. Therrien coached parts of four seasons with the Penguins from 2005-09, and of course, the Penguins won a Stanley Cup in 2009.
In 814 games as an NHL head coach, Therrien has a record of 406-303-23-82.
This hiring of Therrien is a step in the right direction for this young hockey club. Hopefully, Therrien pushes the right buttons to help make this team a consistent bunch, as he looks to improve the Flyers once struggling PK Unit.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports