While big news is expected to drop out of Edmonton any day now, the Philadelphia Flyers are stacking the coaching deck.
On Monday, the Flyers announced the hiring of Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo as assistant coaches for head coach Alain Vigneault.
The addition of two former head coaches to Vigneault’s staff does bring to mind the problem of “too many cooks,” but Philadelphia could benefit from the proverbial meeting of the minds behind the bench. Therrien and Yeo will join assistant coach Ian Laperriere, goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh and video coach Adam Patterson.
The Flyers announced Vigneault as their new head coach in mid-April after the ousting of Dave Hakstol and the return of interim coach Scott Gordon to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL.
Therrien served most recently as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, but he was fired from that post in 2016-2017. It was his second round with the Habs. His first run with Montreal came when he replaced Vigneault in 2000.
Yeo’s most recent head coaching post was with the St. Louis Blues, who fired him in November. His most extensive tenure as bench boss was with the Minnesota Wild, where he was the one-time youngest coach in the NHL and served from 2011 to 2016.
Therrien and Yeo have worked together before, too. They spent time in Pittsburgh, with Yeo serving as assistant coach to Therrien’s head coach for four seasons.
“Both men have enjoyed success at all levels throughout their coaching careers, including working together at the NHL level,” said Vigneault. “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.”
Obviously the Flyers, who finished the 2018-2019 sixth in the Metropolitan Division and well out of playoff contention, are in need of some assistance. There’s a lot to like about a roster that starts with Claude Giroux and fleshes out with the likes of Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere and James van Riemsdyk, but there also that not-so-small matter of goaltending irresolution.
How the new coaches will address what ails the Flyers remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say this trio of current and former NHL head coaches have their work cut out for them.
(Photo credit: CBS Local)