Young talent developer Scott Gordon dated the Phantoms
In an astonishing development, the Flyers announced on Tuesday that they were parting ways with Phantoms coach Scott Gordon and called it a “mutually agreed upon decision.”
Gordon has led the Phantoms to an 18-7-6 record this season, and several of the Flyers’ young players have been developed by him in the AHL. He was head coach of the Islanders and interim coach of the Flyers.
The Flyers also announced that assistant Kerry Huffman has stepped down from her role.
Gordon, 58, coached the Phantoms for six seasons, a term interrupted by an interim stint with the Flyers in 2018-19.
In a statement, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Gordon and Huffman “have devoted their time and effort to developing Flyers’ prospects and making Lehigh Valley successful over the past several years. By talking to each of them, we felt it was better for the future direction of the organization.
Gordon was a year older on his contract.
Later that day, Fletcher said that when Huffman told him he didn’t want to coach anymore, “we were going to have to look for an assistant coach this summer. And Gordo was entering the final year of his contract next year.
READ MORE: Before parting, Phantoms coach Scott Gordon developed quality Flyers outlook | On the fly
Fletcher spoke with Gordon on Monday about his contract.
“At the moment I’m not sure I want to extend it beyond next year. I don’t know where the world will be, ”said Fletcher. “And yet, we have to hire an assistant coach this summer. We just started talking about it, and I’m not sure he would really want to be a lame duck, and I’m not sure it makes sense for us to hire an assistant coach if our boss is a lame duck. .
Fletcher and Gordon then decided to go their separate ways.
“It gives him time to find the next step and he doesn’t have to be a lame duck, which I don’t think is good for him or for us,” said Fletcher.
Fletcher said Gordon “had done a really good job, and I thought he had done a really good job this shoulder season, but going forward next year is year 7, and if I don’t want to extend it beyond that, what’s best for it and the best for us?
The Phantoms and Gordon “have done a hell of a job this year,” Fletcher said. “They had a good squad so it wasn’t like we were upset this year.”
Testifying to Gordon’s ability to develop prospects, 14 players (excluding injury-related rehabilitations) from the Flyers’ end-of-season roster have played for him with the Phantoms: Wade Allison, Nic Aube-Kubel, Joel Farabee, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Carter Hart, Tanner Laczynski, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, Alex Lyon, Samuel Morin, Phil Myers, Travis Sanheim and Cam York.
In addition, three teenagers – right wingers Tyson Foerster and Zayde Wisdom and defenseman Mason Millman – have had impressive rookie seasons this year with the Phantoms. These underage players were only allowed to play in the AHL because their seasons in the Ontario Hockey League had been wiped out by COVID-19.
Gordon, who played 23 NHL games as the Quebec Nordiques goalie, was 186-121-40 (with a tie) with the Phantoms; he was 25-22-4 as interim coach for the Flyers after Dave Hakstol was fired.
Huffman, 53, a former Flyers defenseman, joined Gordon’s staff with the Phantoms in 2016-17, and he was their interim coach when Gordon replaced Hakstol.
Gordon was among the Flyers’ candidates before Fletcher hired Alain Vigneault after the 2018-19 season.
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