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Eric Desjardins Named Player Development Coach

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Eric Desjardins is second all-time in Flyers history in goals, assists and points by a defenseman. (Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that former Flyers defenseman Eric Desjardins was named player development coach, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.

“Eric will be a great asset to the organization as he works with our young drafted players, helping them to prepare their game for the next level,” said Holmgren in making the announcement. “Eric was a great Flyer and his experience will be invaluable to the young players in our system.”

“When I left, I knew that I was a Flyer forever, but now that I’m back with the organization, it’s an honor,” said Desjardins. “I have a chance to work with the team again, and work with Paul Holmgren and the coaching staffs of the Flyers and Phantoms. It’s a great opportunity for me and I hope I can do a great job.”

Desjardins, 39, retired from the Flyers after the 2005-06 season, concluding his 17-season
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NHL career. He recorded 136 goals and 439 assists for 575 points and 757 penalty minutes in 1,143 regular season games for the Montreal Canadiens (1988-89 to 1994-95) and the Flyers (1994-95 through 2005-06). In 11 seasons with the Flyers, Desjardins recorded 93 goals and 303 assists for 396 points and 406 penalty minutes in 738 regular season games. He is second on the Flyers All-Time List among defensemen in goals (93), assists (303) and points (396), trailing only Mark Howe in each category. He is eighth on the Flyers All-Time List in games played (738), third among Flyers defensemen (trailing Chris Therien and Joe Watson).

In 168 career NHL playoff games, Desjardins recorded 23 goals and 57 assists for 80 points and 93 penalty minutes. He registered 14 goals and 37 assists for 51 points and 38 penalty minutes in 97 playoff games with the Flyers. His 14 playoff goals as a Flyer are the most by a defenseman in Flyers history. He appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 16 of his 17 seasons, missing only the 2003-04 Playoffs due to injury, and was a member of the Canadiens’ 1993 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Desjardins won a franchise-record seven Barry Ashbee Trophies, including in six consecutive seasons, as the most outstanding Flyers defenseman (1994-95 through 1999-2000 and 2002-03). He was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team twice, following 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, and participated in three NHL All-Star Games (1992, 1996 and 2000). With his appearance in the Flyers’ game at Atlanta on December 18, 2002, Desjardins became the 185th player in NHL history to reach the NHL Milestone of 1,000 career games played. He was named the 12th captain in Flyers history on March 27, 2000 and served in that role until October 2001.

Desjardins was acquired by the Flyers, along with Gilbert Dionne and John LeClair, from Montreal in exchange for Mark Recchi and a third round pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft on February 9, 1995.

In seven seasons with Montreal (1988-89 to 1994-95), Desjardins posted 43 goals and 136 assists for 179 points and 351 penalty minutes in 405 regular season games. The 6’1”, 205-pound defenseman was drafted from Granby of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League by Montreal in the second round (38th overall) of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

A native of Rouyn, Quebec, Desjardins represented his country of Canada in the 1988 and 1989 World Junior Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup Tournament, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.
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