The Philadelphia Flyers announced that Craig Berube has been named head coach of the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, according to club General Manager Bob Clarke. Berube, an assistant coach with the Phantoms, was promoted to replace John Stevens, who was named an assistant coach for the Flyers. Kjell Samuelsson will remain with the Phantoms as an assistant coach.
"We felt after internal discussions that at this stage Craig Berube was most ready to take over the club and replace John Stevens," said Clarke in making the announcement. "We think highly of Kjell Samuelsson and Berube. They were both strong candidates. It was just a decision that we had to make and we are comfortable with Craig. We think that he will do a terrific job for us."
"Obviously, I am very excited," said Berube. "I'm very happy that Bob Clarke and Paul Holmgren believe in me and have faith in me. I am looking forward to doing a great job for them. The last couple of years I have had experience working under John Stevens and I learned a lot through him. We won a championship last season (2005). I learned a lot from that, plus with 17 years of playing in the NHL, I bring a lot of experience. Different things go on throughout the year and I feel that I can help young players deal with them and then send them on their way (to the NHL)."
Berube, 40, was an assistant coach for the Phantoms for parts of the last three seasons (2003-04 through 2005-06). He joined the Phantoms organization after signing as a free agent on November 18, 2003, and was named a player/assistant coach on January 29, 2004. He recorded six assists and 134 penalty minutes in 33 regular season games for the Phantoms during the 2003-04 season, his 18th and final professional season.
Over parts of 17 NHL seasons (1986-87 through 2002-03), Berube registered 61 goals and 98 assists for 159 points and 3,149 penalty minutes in 1,054 career regular season games for the Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals and New York Islanders. His 3,149 career penalty minutes ranks seventh on the NHL's All-Time List.
In parts of seven seasons with the Flyers (1986-87 through 1990-91 and 1998-99 & 1999-2000), Berube recorded 20 goals and 34 assists for 54 points and 1,138 penalty minutes in 323 regular season games. His 1,138 penalty minutes ranks ninth on the Flyers' All-Time List. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Flyers on March 19, 1986.