The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have named Joe Paterson the head coach of the Adirondack Phantoms, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
John Paddock, who had been serving as the interim head coach of the Phantoms since Nov. 8, will return full-time to his duties as assistant general manager of the Flyers.
Paterson, 50, was named an assistant coach with the Phantoms the same day Paddock was named the interim head coach of the club. He had been serving as a scout for the Atlanta Thrashers organization when he joined the Phantoms.
“When John was named interim head coach on November 8, we did not want it to be for the remainder of the season and we believe this is the right time for Joe to take over the head coaching reins,” Holmgren said. “Joe’s wealth of experience in the American Hockey League and his strength as a teacher of young hockey players will be very beneficial to the continued development of our prospects in Glens Falls.”
“I’m honored to be the head coach of the Adirondack Phantoms,” Paterson said. “It’s a place where I first came to play in the AHL as a player, and it’s also the place where I got my first coaching job as an assistant. We still have some things to do to improve upon as a team, but the building blocks are in place and we’re going to continue to build.”
This is Paterson’s second head coaching assignment in the American Hockey League. He was the head coach of the Louisville Panthers, at the time the primary affiliate of the Florida Panthers, for two seasons from 1999-2001. He posted a record of 63-85-12 and led the team to a 42-win season and the Calder Cup Playoffs in 1999-2000.
Paterson also served as head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League from 1995-97, during which time he coached current San Jose center Joe Thornton.
In addition to his four years of head coaching experience, Paterson brings to the Phantoms an additional 11 years of experience as an AHL assistant coach. His most recent position was with the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he was an assistant coach for four seasons from 2005-2009.
Prior to that, Paterson was an AHL assistant in the Edmonton Oilers organization for three seasons from 2002-05. He also served in that capacity for the Beast of New Haven (Carolina Hurricanes) from 1997-99, coaching under current Flyers assistant coach Kevin McCarthy. He made his coaching debut as an assistant with the Adirondack Red Wings in 1992, where he spent three seasons (1992-95).
Paterson was initially drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round (87th overall) of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. His 13-year professional career included four seasons in Glens Falls with the Adirondack Red Wings (1980-84). His best season with the Adirondack Red Wings came in 1981-82 when he played in 72 games and scored 22 goals and 28 assists. In his other three seasons with Adirondack he split his time with several call-ups to Detroit.
Paterson also played parts of two seasons in the Flyers organization, mostly with the Hershey Bears (1984-85), and also skated in the AHL in New Haven (1988-89) and Binghamton (1990-92).
Over parts of nine seasons in the NHL with the Flyers, Detroit, Los Angeles, and the New York Rangers, Paterson recorded 19 goals and 37 assists for 56 points and collected 829 penalty minutes in 291 games.
Paterson will make his debut as the head coach of the Phantoms on Sunday, Dec. 26, when they visit the Binghamton Senators.