Following an underwhelming Philadelphia Flyers season, General Manager Chuck Fletcher cleans out the Lehigh Valley Phantoms coach staff.
Scott Gordon and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms are going in separate directions. Today, the Philadelphia Flyers AHL affiliate relieved Gordon of his coaching duties. He’s coached the Phantoms since 2015, developing rotation Flyers players for NHL appearances.
Under the direction of Gordon, Lehigh Valley won 53% of regular-season games. In the Calder Cup playoffs, that dips to 50%. Chuck Fletcher relieved Gordon and assistant Kerry Huffman, who stepped down from his role. Gordon mutually agreed to the decision of being let go from the Phantoms. Is that an indication they disagree with the direction of Philadelphia’s hockey operations?
“In speaking with each of them, we felt this was best for the future direction of the organization.”Chuck Fletcher; 5/18/21
No, it’s not. There doesn’t seem to be a juicy bite about the inner workings of the Flyers front office. Huffman could be making himself available for an NHL job by the sound of his decision. It sounds like Gordon wants a change of scenery, and Fletcher wants to shake up the organization. Gordon’s postseason winning percentage shows mediocrity.
Overall, that’s a sort of trend with his tenure inside of Philadelphia’s system. When he was the Flyers interim head coach, Gordon won 49% of his NHL games.
Philadelphia is cleaning out its system to plan for a bounce back to a top-level in 2021-2022. News of Gordon’s firing is unexpected but not entirely surprising. Lehigh Valley performed well this season, finishing second in the AHL North. Unfortunately, they fell short of a playoff berth, trailing the Hershey Bears in the standings.
Next season, both Kerry Huffman and Scott Gordon will be sought-after coaches for franchises planning a rebuild, integral in developing the Flyers youth.