John Stevens, who led the Philadelphia Phantoms to a Calder Cup championship in 2005, has been named the new head coach of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Stevens becomes the 18th current NHL head coach to have been a bench boss in the AHL, and the sixth to have won a Calder Cup, joining Nashville’s Barry Trotz (Portland, 1994), Tampa Bay’s John Tortorella (Rochester, 1996), Atlanta’s Bob Hartley (Hershey, 1997), Carolina’s Peter Laviolette (Providence, 1999) and Calgary’s Jim Playfair (Saint John, 2001).
"John Stevens has quickly proven that he can coach in the National Hockey League," said Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor. "He worked very closely with many of our younger players when he coached them as Phantoms. We believe that we have a core of great young talent and we think that John is the right guy to coach this team."
Stevens, 40, was the Phantoms’ head coach for six seasons (2000-06), owning a regular-season record of 230-206-44 during that time. He was promoted to assistant coach of the Flyers on June 5, 2006.
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 14 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.
Also on Sunday, the Flyers announced that general manager Bob Clarke has resigned. Assistant GM Paul Holmgren, also an AHL graduate, has been named interim general manager.