It looks like the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will have a new head coach next season -- or at the very least, that the organization is preparing for the possibility.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the Flyers have interviewed Erie Otters head coach Kris Knoblauch for the AHL coaching position in the organization. It is taking everything in me not to accidentally type Chuck Knoblauch instead of Kris. The report also says that Riley Cote, the former Flyers enforcer who's been behind the Phantoms bench as an assistant since 2010, is a candidate for the Phantoms head coaching gig.
Knoblauch has been the coach of the OHL's Erie Otters since November 2012. Sure, he's had Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome on those Erie teams the last three years, but there was a marked turnaround once he took over during the 2012-13 season. In 2014-15, the Otters lost in the OHL championship round to the eventual Memorial Cup champions, the Oshawa Generals.
Knoblauch has also coached in the WHL, where in 2010-11 he helped the Kootenay Ice to the WHL title.
The Daily News also reports that Knoblauch has been interviewed for at least two other head coaching jobs in the AHL -- including Toronto, who on Monday hired Sheldon Keefe as the coach of the Marlies.
The news on Knoblauch is interesting for several reasons, and it potentially has direct implications on the Philadelphia Flyers. Current Phantoms head coach Terry Murray has said that he'd love to look at potential NHL gigs -- assistant jobs since he's not a head coaching candidate in Detroit -- and it still remains possible that he's brought onto Dave Hakstol's staff in Philadelphia.
Maybe interviewing Knoblauch (and, we assume, others) for the Phantoms job is the Flyers covering their bases in the event that Murray gets another job, or maybe they do in fact plan to bring him to Philadelphia.
In any event, we know as much about the Flyers and Phantoms coaching gigs as we did last week -- which is to say that aside from Dave Hakstol at the top in Philadelphia, nobody is locked in for next year.