Alain Vigneault has his new assistant coach.
The Flyers on Monday announced the hiring of Darryl Williams. The 53-year-old replaces Ian Laperriere, who was named head coach of AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley in June.
As expected, the hiring clearly had heavy Vigneault influence. Williams worked under Vigneault in New York and Vancouver for nine combined seasons. His most recent position in hockey was with the ECHL's Newfoundland Growlers as an assistant in 2019-20 (the Growlers did not have a 2020-21 season). His last NHL position came with Vigneault and the Rangers in 2017-18.
"Darryl has experience at every level and I am confident that he will fit seamlessly into our coaching staff," Vigneault said in a release from the team. "There is a high level of familiarity having worked with Darryl for several years and I know what he is capable of to help bring success to our group."
Williams was on Vigneault's Vancouver staff when the Canucks went to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. When Vigneault took the Rangers to the Cup Final in 2014, Williams was still with the Canucks. He joined Vigneault in New York the next season.
“I’m honored to join the Philadelphia Flyers organization," Williams said in the release. "I can’t wait to get started with such a great staff and an exciting group of players.”
On Vigneault's staff, Michel Therrien oversees the club's forwards and power play, Mike Yeo the defensemen and penalty kill, Kim Dillabaugh the goalies and Adam Patterson the video operations. Over the past two seasons, Laperriere was tasked with pre-scouting and various other responsibilities.
The 2021-22 season will be Vigneault's third with the Flyers, who won their first playoff series since 2012 in Year 1 and missed the playoffs in Year 2.
Last week, general manager Chuck Fletcher said the Flyers would soon be announcing "a lot of personnel moves," with Williams obviously being one of them. Some of the other moves will include a new staff for the Phantoms under Laperriere and other roles in the big club's hockey operations.
"We spent an awful lot of time this summer looking at our staff, our structure and I think we've made some really meaningful changes and improvements to how we do things, not just from a coaching standpoint, but from a development standpoint, a scouting standpoint and a data standpoint," Fletcher said. "We put a lot of time and effort this summer into fixing some things off the ice that we think will lead to better on-ice results.
"We've looked at everything. Last year was unacceptable. It's been a busy offseason behind the scenes and I'm really happy with some of the moves we've made. Now we have to find a way to get better on the ice and that'll be the focus from here on out."
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