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Candidates to be Flyers’ coach: Mike Vellucci

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From the rival to the Flyers’ bench for this head coaching candidate? initially appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

All through Might and presumably into June, we’ll have a look at potential candidates for the Flyers’ head teaching emptiness.

“We’re going to sit down and try to build that ideal candidate profile and really keep all options open, maybe look at it from a little broader perspective,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said May 3. “Clearly we have to sit down and really drill down in terms of what we’re looking for. I’m sure there will be a lot of quality candidates we’ll speak to.”

We have checked out Barry TrotzRick TocchetPaul MauriceJim MontgomeryJohn TortorellaPeter DeBoerScott SandelinDavid Quinn and Kirk Muller. Subsequent up in our collection is Mike Vellucci, who has interviewed for the Flyers’ job, in accordance with a report Friday by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Why Vellucci can be a match

As an assistant coach for the Penguins the final two seasons, Vellucci has been facet by facet with among the best within the enterprise. The 55-year-old has labored below Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh’s two-time Stanley Cup-winning head coach.

Whereas by no means having been an NHL bench boss, Vellucci has received titles at two completely different ranges as a head coach.

He led the Charlotte Checkers — the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate — to the 2019 Calder Cup championship. Flyers ahead Patrick Brown was the captain of that Charlotte membership, which went 51-17-8 and noticed Vellucci earn AHL Coach of the Yr.

On the junior hockey ranks, Vellucci received the OHL championship in 2007 with the Plymouth Whalers because the crew’s basic supervisor and head coach.

With the Penguins, Vellucci has overseen the membership’s penalty kill. Pittsburgh sported the NHL’s third-best PK this season at 84.4 %.

Over the past two seasons, the Flyers’ penalty kill has ranked final within the NHL at 74.6 %. Vellucci’s perception and philosophy on the penalty kill ought to be interesting to the Flyers.

In a Might 2021 article by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, Vellucci was praised for being a gamers’ coach. After a 25-46-11 season and an anticipated inflow of extra youth, there shall be loads of educating and creating with the Flyers subsequent 12 months. In principle, Vellucci may very well be an excellent candidate to spark change within the Flyers’ on-ice habits.

It can also’t harm that he has seen the Flyers 12 occasions over the past two seasons and is conversant in the Metropolitan Division.

Why Vellucci wouldn’t be a match

The no head teaching expertise on the NHL stage would possibly give the Flyers actual pause.

After lacking the playoffs in consecutive years for the primary time since 1992-93 and 1993-94, the Flyers are going through stress to enhance rapidly. The precarious scenario is looking for a coach that has been there, completed that.

Fletcher just isn’t able to take a large danger and summoning a first-time NHL head coach would qualify as a large danger.

The Flyers even have the duty of rejuvenating their fan base subsequent season. Bringing in a coach with pedigree and shine on his résumé would go a good distance in doing so earlier than the season opener arrives. It is honest to notice Vellucci’s title doesn’t have close to the cachet as different candidates available on the market.

Some would argue the Flyers’ roster wants a superb kick within the butt. A demanding coach with presence has a neater and pure alternative to offer it. Vellucci can be in a troublesome spot with out a well-known observe report.

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