Gordon named interim head coach of Flyers

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The Philadelphia Flyers have named Scott Gordon interim head coach, replacing Dave Hakstol.

Gordon, 55, was in the midst of his fourth season as head coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the Flyers’ AHL affiliate. The Phantoms are 15-9-1-1 through 26 games this year.

The Phantoms also announced that assistant coach Kerry Huffman will serve as acting head coach while the process of identifying and hiring an interim head coach for the remainder of the season is underway.

In 2016-17, Gordon guided Lehigh Valley to a record of 48-23-5-0 — the franchise’s best mark in 20 years — and their first postseason appearance since 2009. In 2017-18, the Phantoms won the Atlantic Division title and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

A native of Brockton, Mass., Gordon ranks ninth in AHL history with 365 career victories over parts of 10 seasons as head coach of Lehigh Valley and Providence. He won the Louis A.R. Pieri Award in 2007-08 as the AHL’s outstanding coach.

Before joining the Flyers organization in 2015, Gordon served as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs for three seasons and was head coach of the New York Islanders for parts of three seasons from 2008-11.

Gordon also played eight professional seasons from 1986-94, including 150 games in the AHL with the Halifax Citadels and New Haven Nighthawks.

Huffman, 49, is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Phantoms. A native of Peterborough, Ont., Huffman produced 37 goals, 108 assists, 145 points and 361 penalty minutes across 401 career NHL games during time with the Flyers, Quebec Nordiques and Ottawa Senators. A first-round selection (20th overall) by Philadelphia in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, Huffman also played 77 AHL games with the Hershey Bears.

In addition, Kjell Samuelsson will assist the Phantoms coaching staff during this transition period.

Samuelsson has been in the Flyers organization for the past 18 years and currently serves as a player development coach. He spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia/Adirondack Phantoms from 2000 to 2013.