The Adirondack Phantoms today introduced head coach Greg Gilbert to the local media with a press conference at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Gilbert was hired last month
to lead the Phantoms following the promotion of John Paddock to assistant general manager of the Flyers. Gilbert was the head coach of the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, for the past three seasons.
"It is a great honor for me to be a part of the Adirondack Phantoms, first and foremost, and secondly the Philadelphia Flyers," Gilbert said. "I think it is a great opportunity to work with such a historic and storied organization. You look back at the years of success that the Flyers have had, not only at the NHL level, but also at the minor league level and I hope to help to contribute to that so the winning ways can continue with the organization."
|Greg Gilbert is the sixth head coach in Philadelphia Phantoms franchise history. (Graig Abel Photography) |
That would mean Gilbert would be continuing his winning ways as well. In his three seasons leading the Marlies, Gilbert compiled a record of 123-89-10-18. That included a 50-win season and a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2007-08.
"Greg is a guy that I am extremely excited to have as a part of our organization," said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. "Not only has he been a winner as a player through his career in the National Hockey League, but he has been a winner as a coach and we look for his leadership and direction moving forward in our first season here in Adirondack."
Gilbert expressed excitement about returning to the Glens Falls area, where he had made previous stops during his playing career while the Adirondack Red Wings occupied the Glens Falls Civic Center. He'd also heard great things from former Flyers captain Kevin Dineen, who lives in the area.
"It's a beautiful area," Gilbert said. "I've been up here once or twice; once as a player when I was playing for Springfield way back when I was coming back from a knee injury on a rehab assignment. I remember the atmosphere in the building, skating on the ice you could see the excitement of the fans. They are very knowledgeable hockey fans, very passionate about the game and I'm greatly looking forward to working up here and putting on an exciting product on the ice, while developing young players for the National League team."
There's some stress on the word "young." Just like the Flyers of a year ago, the Phantoms were a very young squad, with nine rookies on the roster and just three players over the age of 30. While the team will likely have some new veterans on the roster, the nucleus of the team will still largely consist of players who are still on their entry-level contracts.
"We're going to have a very exciting team here, probably a fairly young team, but we've got some good leadership and we're going to play a hard-style game, which is what the game is all about," Gilbert said.
Holmgren emphasized the critical role that Gilbert will play in helping the Flyers stay among the NHL's elite by developing their own prospects.
"I know Greg's abilities and his motivation to work with younger players, something that's really important in the new salary cap era in the NHL – where you've got to have a steady flow of young players that you can add to your big team; hopefully a couple each year," Holmgren said.