|John Stevens led the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first full season as head coach. (Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension with Head Coach John Stevens, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
“John is very deserving of this new contract,” said Holmgren in making the announcement. “He is a very energetic coach who brings a lot of enthusiasm and passion to the game and we look forward to working together over the next few years.”
"John has done a fantastic job,” said Comcast-Spectacor President and Chief Operating Officer Peter A. Luukko. “He has a great relationship with our younger players, dating back to the Phantoms’ Calder Cup Championship, and he certainly has a great rapport with the veterans on the team. It is obvious with our long playoff run last season that John has done an excellent job."
“I am very excited,” said Stevens. “This is something that we talked about in the early part of the summer. We knew that it was just a matter of time before we got it done. I love being a part of this organization and the direction that the team is heading. I am extremely happy to be a part of it moving forward.”
Stevens, 42, led the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals after posting a 42-29-11 record and 95 points to finish fourth in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference in 2007-08, his first full season as the club’s head coach. The Flyers finished 39 points and 20 wins ahead of their totals from the previous season (22-48-12 for 56 points in 2006-07). Their 39-point turnaround was the most of any team in the National Hockey League this past season. In recognition of his work during the 2007-08 season, he was named Coach of the Year by The Hockey News.
Over the last two seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08), he has a 63-71-22 record in 156 career NHL games coached after being promoted from assistant coach on October 22, 2006. He is the 16th head coach in Flyers history and the fourth former Flyer to be named the team’s head coach. He was named assistant coach of the Flyers on June 5, 2006.
Prior to joining the Flyers’ coaching staff, Stevens was the head coach of the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, for six seasons (2000-01 through 2005-06) and led the team to the Calder Cup Championship in 2005. Stevens’ career AHL coaching record is 230-181-33-25 in 480 regular season games, not including 11 shootout losses. He has a 29-19 record in 48 career AHL playoff games. Stevens was named the second-ever head coach of the Phantoms on June 8, 2000. His 480 games coached and 230 career wins are the most in Phantoms history. He was named an assistant coach for the Phantoms on February 10, 1999, after announcing his retirement from hockey due to an eye injury.
A native of Campbellton, New Brunswick, Stevens played 15 seasons of professional hockey as a defenseman (1984-85 to 1998-99), including 53 career NHL games with the Flyers and Hartford Whalers. Over parts of five seasons (1986-87 and 1987-88 with the Flyers and 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1993-94 with Hartford), Stevens recorded 10 assists and 48 penalty minutes in 53 games. He was a member of three Calder Cup Championship teams as a player (Hershey – 1988, Springfield – 1991 and Philadelphia – 1998) and won the Barry Ashbee Award as the Phantoms’ top defenseman for the 1996-97 season. He was named the Phantoms’ first-ever captain on October 1, 1996. Stevens was originally drafted by the Flyers in the third round (47th overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.