Flyers

With Joel Quenneville off the board, where else could the Flyers look for a coach?

With Joel Quenneville off the board, where else could the Flyers look for a coach?

Updated: 2:02 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers' offseason is already off to an undesirable start.

Not long after the Flyers skated off the Wells Fargo Center ice, we've learned that three-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Joel Quenneville is joining the Florida Panthers. 

Quenneville would have brought an excitement to Flyers Nation similar to the energy Bryce Harper has unleashed on Philadelphia. Quenneville is the next head coach of the Panthers, but it’s not because GM Dale Tallon beat Chuck Fletcher to the punch. 

Clearly the Flyers organization, from CEO Dave Scott on down, was locked into the idea of bringing Quenneville aboard. However, Tallon and Quenneville are good friends as Tallon promoted Quenneville to the position of head coach with the Blackhawks in 2008.

The Panthers reached out to the Blackhawks for permission to speak with Quenneville, but it’s believed the two sides had been in serious negotiations with a press conference scheduled for Monday.

With Quenneville out of the mix, Fletcher had better act quickly if he wants to get one of his desirable candidates. A quarter of NHL teams entered Sunday searching for a new head coach and it looks like Todd McLellan could be off the board, as well.

With Quenneville off the radar, where does Fletcher direct his search? 

Here are some potential candidates:

Dave Tippett — senior adviser to Seattle’s NHL team

Tippett was fired by the Arizona Coyotes following the 2016-17 season and five straight non-playoff appearances and replaced by Rick Tocchet.

Prior to the recent lockout, Tippett guided the then-Phoenix Coyotes to the Western Conference Final in 2012 after winning the Pacific Division. Between coaching stints with the Coyotes and Stars, Tippett’s teams reached the playoffs in eight of his first nine seasons.

What makes Tippett attractive?

The Flyers finished 29th in goals allowed, a number Fletcher has been adamant in cutting down. In the eight years Tippett’s teams made the playoffs, they finished third, second, sixth, fourth, sixth, third, 13th and fifth in overall team defense. That’s appealing for a team that was horrendous on the defensive side of the ice.

Alain Vigneault — head coach Team Canada’s World Championship team

Vigneault was relieved of his duties with the New York Rangers following the 2017-18 season after the team proceeded to sell off its best players as part of a rebuild on Broadway. The 57-year-old coach may have the opportunity to coach fellow French Canadians Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier at the upcoming World Championships.

What makes Vigneault attractive?

He’s a proven winner. Vigneault won six divisional titles in Vancouver, including a President’s Trophy with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. In his first season in New York, Vigneault led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 20 years. He’s coached his teams to eight 100-point seasons over a 10-year period.

Guy Boucher — fired as Senators coach on March 1, 2019

Boucher was put in an untenable position after the Senators proceeded to sell off the organization’s best players, starting with defenseman Erik Karlsson last summer. Boucher has had a short shelf life, coaching just three seasons in Tampa Bay and Ottawa. Karlsson excelled in Boucher’s first season in Ottawa and perhaps hiring Boucher could be a way of luring Karlsson to Philadelphia, who the coach labeled "the best player in the world" in 2017.

What makes Boucher attractive?

He may be a short-term fix, but in his first full season with the Lightning in 2011 and the Senators in 2017, he guided both teams to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. The 1-3-1 neutral zone trap Boucher is known for is the same system the Flyers had success with this season under interim head coach Scott Gordon. 

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Flyers give 15-year-old fan a contract, and then the day of his life

Flyers give 15-year-old fan a contract, and then the day of his life

The Flyers announced an eye-catching transaction Thursday: a one-day contract with a young local hockey fan, 15-year-old Blake Steigauf.

Steigauf, an enormous Flyers fan and a sophomore at Manheim Central High School who was diagnosed with cancer last April, partnered with Make-A-Wish Philadelphia and on Thursday spent a dream day with the Flyers.

Currently a player for Manehim Central's high school hockey team, Steigauf hit the ice with his favorite player, Flyers captain Claude Giroux, and spent time on the ice during practice with the team.

After taking a few shots — and netting a few goals — against Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, Steigauf and Giroux were chatting when Giroux gave Steigauf his stick and told the young star it was his to keep.

When Giroux gave Steigauf his stick, Elliott swooped in from behind and chirped the Flyers captain: "You've scored more with it than he has."

After practice, Giroux talked about Steigauf's game, and leaned into the razzing.

"You can see that [Steigauf's] been playing," Giroux said. "He's got a good shot. It was good. I gave him my stick, so hopefully ... those sticks don't score a lot of goals, but hopefully he's gonna change that."

In his locker stall after practice, Steigauf was thrilled.

"I'm speechless," Steigauf said. "It was just phenomenal out there. All the guys, they're truly amazing."

Steigauf and Giroux shared lunch together, where Steigauf hopefully gave Giroux a few pointers:

After practice, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher announced the one-day contract at a press conference. Steigauf will join the Flyers on Friday for their Feb. 28 game against the Rangers, according to the team:

Blake's game-day experience will mirror that of his new official teammates, arriving at the arena through the private player's entrance, dressing in an official locker room stall, and lining up alongside the team in the player tunnel. Sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime moment, Blake will lead the team out of the tunnel onto the ice and take an official solo "rookie lap" around Wells Fargo Center ice before watching warmups from the team bench. 

As his final game-night duty, Head Coach Alain Vigneault has requested that Blake present the night's starting lineup before he returns to the ice and stands side-by-side with the starters on the blue line during the singing of the National Anthem.

Both on and off the ice, the Flyers are on a roll.

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Flyers Talk podcast: What to expect with new-look 2019-20 team

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Flyers Talk podcast: What to expect with new-look 2019-20 team

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by Joe Fordyce, the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer.

From expectations for the newcomers, something to look forward to and more, let's dive in:

0:35 — Get to know the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer

3:50 — Fordyce's No. 1 Flyers moment

5:20 — You will love Emmer's top moment

 9:45 — A concern has brought out good sign in Flyers

13:50 — How the Flyers save their best for last

17:00 — Keep expectations in check with Derek Grant and Nate Thompson

20:25 — Recognition for Scott Laughton; his role is increasing

25:00 — Kevin Hayes exceeding expectations and has his own beer!

 28:30 — The finish to February will be huge for the Flyers

 30:00 — Ready for Broadway? Should be fun

 32:00 — An underrated aspect to Flyers' turnaround

 39:00 — A glimpse into Flyers Pre and Postgame Live

44:45 — Emmer's hockey joke of the day!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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