In the 48 seasons the Philadelphia Flyers have been an NHL franchise, the team has hired 19 separate men to be their head coach. Some experienced pretty successful and lengthy tenures with the orange and black. Fred Shero, for instance, served as the Flyers bench boss for seven wonderful years and brought the city of Philadelphia two Stanley Cup Championships. On the other hand, some individuals could not cut it as head coach of the Flyers and did not last very long in that particular role.
It is always interesting to study a team’s past and have a look at some of their former coaches. The fun does not just lie within learning about an individual’s time with a particular team, but finding out what they went on to do after they were given the boot or left voluntarily.
Today, we will do just that with some of the former head coaches of the Philadelphia Flyers and find out what they are up to these days.
Coach Berube took over as the Flyers head coach during the early stages of the 2013-2014 regular season after Peter Laviolette was let go three games in. Berube saw some success in his first season with the team as the Flyers went 42-27-10 under his command and made it to the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Philadelphia would lose to the Rangers in a back-and-forth series that went seven games.
Unfortunately, Chief Berube’s second season as head coach would not go as well as the first. The Flyers would go 33-31-18, which was only good enough for sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. Berube would be sent packing in April of 2015 and replaced by Flyers’ current coach, Dave Hakstol.
So what is “Chief” up to these days? Although he would love another opportunity to coach in the National Hockey League, no such opportunity has come just yet. However, Berube has been serving as a scout for Hockey Canada, which selected Canada’s World Cup of Hockey roster.
Laviolette coached the third most games in franchise history (272 games) during his tenure with the Flyers which lasted from 2010 until 2014. He also has the third most total victories as head coach of Philadelphia with 145 wins.
As mentioned earlier, Laviolette’s past successes would not be enough to save his job in October of 2013 as he was let go after three measly games.
Laviolette is still coaching in the National Hockey League, now in his second season with the Nashville Predators. He has done extremely well since joining the franchise, coaching the Predators to the postseason in 2015 and doing the same this year.
Stevens served as bench boss of the Philadelphia Flyers from 2007 until 2010. The orange and black would go 120-109-34 in 263 games with Stevens as their head coach. The team would also make two postseason appearances under his rule.
Eventually, Stevens would be let go by Philadelphia 25 games into the 2009-10 regular season and was replaced by Laviolette. Of course, this would be the year the Flyers would shock the world and make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks.
These days, Stevens is a part of Darryl Sutter’s staff as an assistant coach of the Los Angeles Kings. Ironically, he has won two Stanley Cups since joining the Kings’ coaching staff.
After spending seven years and winning one Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars, Hitchcock took over the Philadelphia head coaching job in 2002. The Flyers played 254 games under Hitchcock’s rule recording 131 wins, 73 losses, 22 overtime losses, and 28 ties. In addition, the black and orange made it to the postseason every complete season Hitchcock was their bench boss. Unfortunately, he was given an extremely short leash in 2006 and was fired after his team started off the season 1-6-1.
Hitchcock is now in his fifth season as the head coach of the St. Louis Blues. Like most other Hitchcock-run organizations, the team has done very well during regular seasons of his tenure. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Blues postseason efforts. Maybe this year will be a different story.
Murray spent three seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers from 1994 until 1997. He was the man responsible for assembling the “Legion of Doom” line consisting of Eric Lindros, John LeClair, and Mikael Renberg. Murray led the Flyers to two Atlantic Division Championships and took the team to the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals where they would eventually lose to the Detroit Red Wings. Being crowned Eastern Conference Champions was not enough for Murray to keep his job and he was fired after the 1997 postseason.
After his stint with Philadelphia, Murray spent time as bench boss of both the Florida Panthers and the Los Angeles Kings. These days he is a member of Dan Bylsma’s staff in Buffalo serving as an assistant coach of the Sabres.
In 1988, Holmgren became the first former Flyer to be named the team’s head coach. He coached 264 games for Philadelphia recording 107 wins, 126 losses, and 31 ties. After leading the Flyers to the Wales Conference Finals in his first season, Philadelphia failed to make the playoffs the next two seasons under Holmgren. His fourth season only lasted 24 games and then the Flyers sent him packing.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Holmgren could not stay separated for long and he was appointed Director of Pro Scouting for the 1996-97 season. He then became Assistant General Manager until he eventually took over Bobby Clarke’s position as General Manager during the 2006-07 regular season. On May 7, 2014, Holmgren was promoted President of the Flyers and remains in that position.
John Gove is an elementary school educator who writes about hockey in his spare team. Over the past five years, John has covered the game at various levels. Now, he exclusively focuses his coverage on prospects and the developmental leagues.