The Flyers’ new general manager, Chuck Fletcher, made his first hire a few days ago when it was announced that Rick Wilson, most recently of the Dallas Stars, would be joining the coaching staff in an assistant role.
OFFICIAL: Rick Wilson has joined the Philadelphia Flyers staff as an assistant coach. https://t.co/SJKxFT8ZqJ— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) December 4, 2018
It was only seven months ago that Wilson had announced his retirement from active coaching in the NHL, leaving the Stars after just one season into his second coaching stint in Dallas. Wilson brings with him 30 years of experience behind the bench of a NHL team, including six years as an assistant coach in Minnesota where he worked under — yup —Chuck Fletcher.
Fletcher had first hired Wilson prior to the 2010-11 season, and held that position until May of 2016 when Bruce Boudreau took over as Minnesota’s head coach. Beginning during the Todd Richards era, Wilson would oversee the team’s defensemen in tandem with Darryl Sydor, and go on to contribute to the development of the Wild’s young defensive core.
Not only did he already have a connection to Fletcher, Wilson also already knew head coach Dave Hakstol, thanks in-part to his ties with the University of North Dakota where he spent time as both a player and as an assistant coach. Wilson has also previously worked with Flyers defenseman Christian Folin during their time together in Minnesota.
Wilson will be filling the void left by Gord Murphy, and it’s not hard to feel like the Flyers are in good hands with his track record, and the type of defensemen that have flourished under his tutelage of late. Jared Spurgeon and John Klingberg anyone?