Phantoms’ Stevens promoted to Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that Philadelphia Phantoms head coach John Stevens has been named an assistant coach of the Flyers.

Stevens replaces Wayne Fleming, who has resigned.

"We think that this is the last step in John’s progress to become an NHL head coach," said Flyers general manager Bob Clarke. "He is certainly qualified to help the Flyers and this will give him NHL experience. Someday he will be a really good NHL head coach."

"John has really established himself as a premier coach in the American Hockey League," said Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock. "This is a great step for the organization and for John. It shows a real trust that the Flyers have in their own people. He has passion for the game. He has strong technical knowledge and I think his greatest strength is that he knows what it feels and looks like when you are a cohesive, tight team."

Stevens, 40, was the Phantoms’ head coach for the past six seasons (2000-06) and led the team to the Calder Cup championship in 2005. Stevens had a regular-season record of 230-206-44 at the helm with the Phantoms.

A native of Campbellton, N.B., Stevens played 15 seasons of professional hockey as a defenseman, including 834 career AHL games over 14 seasons with the Hershey Bears, Springfield Indians, Springfield Falcons and Philadelphia Phantoms, and was a part of three Calder Cup championship teams (1988, 1991, 1998). He retired in 1999 due to an eye injury and was named an assistant coach for the Phantoms.

Stevens is one of 13 men in AHL history to win a Calder Cup as both a player and a head coach, joining such notables as Fred (Bun) Cook, Fred Glover, Frank Mathers and John Paddock in that exclusive group.