May 06, 2019
By: Kristi Fulkerson
Less than a month after hiring Alain Vigneault as head coach, the Flyers announced today that his coaching staff is set. With that came news that Scott Gordon will return as head coach of the Phantoms and Kerry Huffman as his assistant. Great news. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little surprised to see Gordon return for his 5th season— pleasantly surprised at that!
Last season, both coaches dealt with unexpected organizational changes and fell into interim head coaching positions beginning in mid-December. Gordon took the reins of a last-place Flyers squad, guiding them to a 25-22-4 record over the final 51 games -- even making a late season run at a playoff berth. In Allentown, Huffman became a head coach for the first time, battling to finish just two points (& a tiebreaker) shy of the postseason after a 24-21-5 mark.
Personally, I felt Gordon deserved a chance to stay in Philadelphia as head coach (without the interim tag). With what he was able to accomplish in the second half of the season, how could you not want to see what he can do with an offseason or two? He’s proven he can develop players, motivate the young and experienced, and no one is better prepared. After the hiring of Vigneault, I half expected him to get a shot with a different NHL team (even as an assistant) or perhaps pursue a fresh start with a new organization. Either way, Philadelphia’s loss is Lehigh Valley’s gain.
Here at TV2, we've had a great working relationship with both Gordon and Huffman over the last 4 seasons so personally, I look forward to another year with both! Gordon will enter the 2019-2020 season with a 144-86-24 record in 254 games with the Phantoms. With contacts expiring and many young forward prospects ready to join the pros, many questions remain about who
will be playing for the 5th-year Phantoms head coach and 4th-year assistant this fall. I do know Huffman and Gordon kept in close contact last season so even though the team’s roster will look very different that it has over the last 3-4 seasons, the staff will bring a consistency sure to help with development (and winning).