Jeff Reese is out as Philadelphia Flyers goalie coach. The team announced the news at High Noon on Friday, and they claim it was a "mutual agreement between both parties."
Reese had been the Flyers goalie coach since 2009, joining the organization after an eight year stint as the goalie coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Flyers kept Reese around through a lot of crap — a run to the Stanley Cup Final with Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher and the entire Ilya Bryzgalov saga included.
More recently, Reese has helped Steve Mason grow from one of the worst goalies in the NHL to, since he's come to Philadelphia, an above-average NHL starter. Mason himself deserves a lot of the credit for his growth as a goalie in Philly, but there's no doubt that Reese played a huge role in that as well. Mason and Reese were definitely close:
Mason seems gut-wrenched by Reese's departure, said it was hard to focus in last night's game.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 6, 2015
So to say the least, something seems fishy here, and we don't really buy the "mutual agreement" thing. A performance-related firing seems ... well, wrong. Not now. Two years ago, maybe. But not now. Maybe Reese left for some other reason. Maybe he was fired for some other reason. We won't speculate beyond that.
But again, taking this at face value doesn't feel right.
Here's the full press release from the Flyers:
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that goaltending coach Jeff Reese is no longer with the team, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
"It was a mutual agreement between both parties," said Hextall. "Jeff was an integral part of our coaching staff for the past six seasons and we wish him well."
Reese joined the Flyers in 2009 after eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff, including the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup Championship.
The team will have no further comment.