Continuing a trend toward hiring coaches with lots of prior NHL experience, the Flyers on Mondaycompleted their coaching staff for next season by hiring veterans Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo as assistants to serve on head coach Alain Vigneault’s crew.
General manager Chuck Fletcher also announced that Scott Gordon, who served as Flyers interim head coach for 51 games last season, will return to his post as head coach for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next season.
The Flyers will retain assistant coaches Ian Laperriere, Kim Dillabaugh (goaltending) and Adam Patterson (video) but Kris Knoblauch and Rick Wilson will not be returning.
Kerry Huffman, who took over for Gordon during his tenure with the Flyers, will return to his assistant’s position under Gordon with the Phantoms.
“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 statement released by the Flyers.
“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.”
Therrien, 55, most recently served what was his second term as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, a position he held from June 5, 2012 until Feb. 14, 2017.
The Canadiens made the playoffs in each of Therrien’s first three seasons, including division titles in 2012-13 and 2014-15 and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013-14.
Therrien had previously coached Montreal for parts of three seasons (2000-01 to 2002-03). His 542 games at the helm of the Canadiens rank fourth in the franchise’s history, as do his 271 wins with the team.
In between stops in Montreal, Therrien spent seven seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. He was hired as the head coach of the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, in 2003 and led the team to Calder Cup playoff berths in 2004 and 2005. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 21-1-2-1 through the first 25 games of the 2005-06 season when Therrien was promoted to the head coaching position in Pittsburgh on Dec. 15, 2005.
After missing the playoffs that season, Therrien guided the Penguins back to the playoffs in 2006-07 with a 47-24-11 record and was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, which was won by Vigneault that season. Therrien remained with the Penguins until Feb. 15, 2009, a run that included a trip to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final.
In 814 games as an NHL head coach, Therrien has a record of 406-303-23-82.
Yeo, 45, was most recently with the St. Louis Blues, where he served as an assistant coach from June 13, 2016 to Feb. 1, 2017 and as head coach from that date until Nov. 19, 2018. Yeo began his coaching career as an assistant coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 1999 and continued in that position when Therrien was hired in 2003. Yeo was promoted to Pittsburgh along with Therrien on Dec. 15, 2005 and the pair worked together until Therrien’s departure in February 2009. Yeo remained in his role through the end of the 2009-10 season, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009.
Yeo earned his first head coaching job when he was hired to guide the Houston Aeros, the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, on June 16, 2010. The Aeros reached the AHL’s Calder Cup Finals in Yeo’s one season behind the bench, after which he was named the head coach of the Wild on June 17, 2011. Yeo became the youngest head coach in the NHL at the time, at the age of 38.
Yeo held the position until Feb. 13, 2016; his teams made the playoffs in three of his four full seasons behind the Wild bench, including 98- and 100-point seasons, respectively, in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
In 482 games as an NHL head coach, Yeo has a record of 246-181-55.
Gordon was named interim head coach of the Flyers on December 17, 2018. He guided the team to a 25-22-4 record over the final 51 games of the season. Gordon was originally hired as the head coach of the Phantoms on July 13, 2015 and has a 144-86-15-9 record in 254 games with the team, including seasons of 101 and 104 points, respectively, in 2016-17 and 2017-18; the 2017-18 squad won the Atlantic Division title and made a trip to the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals.