Yesterday it came out that Michel Therrien would be joining the Flyers as an assistant coach, and now today, when it was made official, it was announced that Mike Yeo would also be joining the staff.
Yeo, most recently with the St. Louis Blues, does have history with Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher. Under Fletcher he served as the Minnesota Wild’s head coach from the beginning of the 2011-12 season until he was ultimately let go during his fifth season after the team lost 13 games in a 14 game stretch. He would then go on to join St. Louis as an assistant, and later was named the Blues’ head coach. After completing just his first full season a year prior, Yeo was fired 19 games into the 2018-19 season and replaced by former Flyers head coach Craig Berube.
It was also announced that Ian Laperriere, Kim Dillabaugh, and Adam Patterson would be returning to the Flyers. Laperriere was present for the team’s turnaround on the penalty kill at the end of the season, but it’s fair to question how much of their improvement there was because of then interim-head coach Scott Gordon. Speaking of, Gordon will be returning to his role as head coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL. Kerry Huffman will return to his role as assistant coach with Lehigh Valley.
Gone are Kris Knoblauch, who ran the Flyers’ power play, and Rick Wilson, who coached the defense. Wilson leaving isn’t exactly too surprising given that he had come out of retirement to coach the Flyers in the middle of last season. Knoblauch, hired in June of 2017, was unable to find the same level of power play success that his predecessor, Joe Mullen, had, and the Flyers finished 23rd in power play percentage this past season.
According to Bill Meltzer’s latest post, Therrien will likely be in charge of running the Flyers’ defense, and Mike Yeo will be in charge of running the power play. The power play had been a problem for both the Blues and the Wild while Yeo was there, but maybe it will be different now that he’ll be an assistant coach rather than a head coach.
So, the Flyers’ bench to begin the 2018-19 season is as follows: Alain Vigneault, Michel Therrien, Mike Yeo, and Ian Laperriere.
Update (5/8): We now know that Therrien will be in charge of the forwards and the power play, while Yeo will handle the defense and the penalty kill. Laperriere will not be on the bench, and will do pre-scouting work.