Monday, June 15, 2009

Hatcher officially retires; named player devolpment coach

Derian Hatcher has officially retired after 17 seasons and joined the Flyers as the club's new player development coach, replacing Eric Desjardins.

“We are pleased to add Derian to our coaching staff in this very important capacity,” said GM Paul Holmgren in making the announcement. “Derian will spend valuable time with the young players throughout our organization, working on their on-ice game as well as helping these young players deal with the issues playing and/or preparing to play professional hockey.”

“I am very excited. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when Paul offered me this position. It sounded like the perfect way to stay in the game and see if I like it,” said Hatcher. “I will be watching the younger players and making sure everything runs smoothly for them. I will be involved with running the rookie camp this summer, where I will get to work closely with some of our younger players.”

Hatcher, 37, takes over the position from another former Flyers defenseman and captain, Desjardins, who stepped down to pursue other business interests. Desjardins was named player development coach and served in that capacity since July 15, 2008.

Hatcher missed all 82 regular season games and the playoffs in 2008-09. He concludes his NHL career with 80 goals and 251 assists for 331 points and 1,581 penalty minutes in 1,045 regular season games for the Minnesota North Stars (1991-92 to 1992-93), Dallas Stars (1993-94 to 2002-03), Detroit Red Wings (2003-04) and Philadelphia Flyers (2005-06 to 2008-09). He also recorded 33 points (7G,26A) and 248 penalty minutes in 133 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

He signed with Philadelphia as a free agent on August 2, 2005 and in parts of four seasons with the Flyers, recorded nine goals and 24 assists for 33 points and 193 penalty minutes in 203 regular season games. He also posted five points (1G,4A) and 50 penalty minutes in 21 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Flyers.

He was named the 14th captain in Flyers history on January 29, 2006 and served in that role until September of 2006. In 2006-07, he was the winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers’ most outstanding defenseman and appeared in his 1,000th career NHL game vs. New York Islanders on April 7, 2007, becoming the 218th player in NHL history to reach that milestone.

In parts of 13 NHL seasons (from 1991-92 through 2003-04) with Minnesota, Dallas and Detroit, Hatcher registered 71 goals and 227 assists for 298 points and 1,388 penalty minutes in 842 regular season games. He was a member of Dallas' Stanley Cup Championship team in 1999 and is the only American-born player to captain a team to a Stanley Cup Championship.

A native of Sterling Heights, MI, Hatcher represented the United States in two Olympics (1998 and 2006) and was a member of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey Championship Team. He was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2003 and appeared in the 1997 NHL All-Star Game. Hatcher was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

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