Ex-Flyers coaches Craig Berube, Ken Hitchcock land head-coaching jobs
Ex-Flyers coaches Craig Berube (Blues) and Ken Hitchcock (Oilers) have been named head coaches.
It's been a good 24 hours for ex-Flyers coaches.
Craig Berube was promoted from associate coach to interim coach in St. Louis late Monday, and Ken Hitchcock took over in Edmonton on Tuesday.
Berube, 52, replaced the fired Mike Yeo, whose Blues are off to a 7-9-3 start.
"He was really good to me," Flyers right winger Jake Voracek said after practice Tuesday in Voorhees. "He was hard on me, but in a good way, which I think is the best you can get as a hockey player, when a coach wants you to do good and he tells you want to do and is hard on you — and you take advantage and use it on the ice."
Voracek said he played "some of my best hockey" with Berube as his head coach.
Center Sean Couturier said he also liked playing for Berube, who compiled a 75-58-28 record in almost two full seasons with the Flyers.
"He's a great guy. Players liked playing for him, going to battle for him," Couturier said. "I'm happy he found a head-coaching job again."
Berube, a former Flyers player, coached the team from 2013-15. He was fired by new general manager Ron Hextall after the Flyers missed the playoffs following a 33-31-18 season.
Dave Hakstol replaced Berube.
Hitchcock, 66, who was born in Edmonton, replaced the fired Todd McLellan. He will try to get the Oilers to play better defense. Edmonton is just 9-10-1 despite being led by superstar Connor McDavid.
Hitchcock coached the Flyers from 2002-03 to early in the 2006-07 season, compiling a 254-131-73-28 record. He is the third-winningest coach in NHL history, with a record of 823-506-88-119. Edmonton is the fifth team he has coached, following stints with Dallas (twice), the Flyers, Columbus, and St. Louis.
John Stevens, fired earlier this month by Los Angeles, is another former Flyers coach who could surface with a head-coaching job before the season ends.