Today the Lehigh Valley Phantoms announced that Kerry Huffman has been named full time head coach and that Terry Murray will be joining the coaching staff in an assistant role. Kjell Samuelsson, who had been filling in behind the Phantoms’ bench as an assistant coach, will return to his previous role as the Flyers’ Director of Player Development.
The #LVPhantoms have announced that Kerry Huffman has been named Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 season. In addition, Terry Murray has been named an Assistant Coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.— LehighValleyPhantoms (@LVPhantoms) December 27, 2018
Terry Murray, who previously served as both the Flyers and the Phantoms head coach, has over 1,000 games of head coaching experience at the NHL across parts of 14 different seasons. Following his departure from Phantoms after three seasons, Murray joined the Buffalo Sabres staff where he most recently worked in an assistant role.
During Huffman’s time as interim head coach the Phantoms have gone 3-0-1, including a comeback victory last night that saw the Phantoms score four unanswered goals in the third period en route to a 5-3 victory. He is in the midst of his first professional season as a head coach.
What does this mean for Scott Gordon? Well, for starters he’s probably staying in Philadelphia. If Chuck Fletcher’s plan included him returning to Lehigh Valley in the near future, Huffman probably wouldn’t have been named the team’s head coach until the end of the season. However, looking even further, everything looks to be up in the air for what happens next season. Fletcher himself has said that Gordon is expected to be the Flyers’ head coach until the end of the season, and now both Huffman and Murray have been named to their roles throughout the remainder of this season. Neither currently have been given that long-term job — yet.
There’s a lot of uncertainties moving forward, but for now we have some clarity on the Phantoms’ bench through the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.