PHILADELPHIA - Derian Hatcher's tenure as an NHL defencemen ended Monday - right around the time his coaching career began.
Hatcher announced his retirement - ending a 17-year playing career - and was immediately named player development coach with Philadelphia, where he spent the past four years. Hatcher takes over the position from Eric Desjardins, another former Flyer who stepped down to pursue other interests.
"We are pleased to add Derian to our coaching staff in this very important capacity," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "Derian will spend valuable time with the young players throughout our organization, working on their on-ice game as well as helping these young players deal with the issues playing and/or preparing to play professional hockey."
Hatcher missed the entire 2008-09 season with a serious knee injury that eventually required replacement surgery, effectively ending his career. Hatcher last played in 2007-08, scoring two goals and adding five assists in 44 games.
"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when Paul offered me this position," Hatcher said. "It sounded like the perfect way to stay in the game and see if I like it."
Hatcher, a first-round pick of the Minnesota North Stars in 1990, finishes with 80 goals, 251 assists and 1,581 penalty minutes in 1,045 regular-season games with the North Stars/Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Flyers. He was a member of the Stars team that won the 1999 Stanley Cup.