Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Former Flyers D Murphy hired as assistant coach

Reshaping the franchise has taken on a different dimension, as the Flyers announced on Wednesday that Gord Murphy has been named an assistant coach, taking over for the recycled John Paddock, who will not return next year.

"Gord brings a wealth of experience as a player and as a coach at the NHL level." Flyers GM Ron Hextall said. "We are excited to have Gord on our staff and look forward to him working with our defensemen and the rest of our coaching staff. "We'd like to thank John for being an integral part of our organization and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Murphy, taken in the ninth round of the 1985 draft from the Oshawa Generals, made his NHL and club debut in October of 1988 and remained with the Orange and Black until a January 2, 1992 trade which saw him shipped to Boston for Garry Galley. Prior to arriving here, Murphy was part of the Hershey Bears' one and only Calder Cup championship as a Flyers' affiliate, in the Spring of 1988.

He played 261 games for Philadelphia, accumulating 31 goals and 97 assists while participating in 19 playoff games during his rookie campaign. All told, Murphy patrolled NHL blue lines for 14 seasons with Philly, the Bruins, Panthers and Thrashers, totaling 85 goals and 238 assists in 862 contests.

"I’m very excited and really looking forward to the opportunity and challenge of working with the Flyers organization and with Craig Berube and his staff," Murphy said. "I couldn’t be more thrilled for this opportunity for myself and my family coming back to Philly. As a former player and now the last 11 years in my role as an assistant coach, I consider myself a good teacher with a good balance of experience. I really look forward to working with and mentoring the defensemen everyday by having them continue to improve and get the Flyers to where we all want to be."

While with Florida, Murphy was one of the core of defenseman charged with shutting down the Legion of Doom line during the 1996 Eastern Conference Semifinals -- a series the Panthers ended up winning in six games en route to the club's first and only Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

The 47-year-old native of Ontario has logged 11 seasons as an NHL assistant, first with Columbus (2002-10) and recently with Florida (2010-13). It's not surprising, even with Paddock's removal, that another former player with coaching experience and a connection to the Flyers was reeled in.

Paddock had been more or less a loyal person within the organization ever since his days as a player beginning with the 1979-80 season, though his multiple tenures with the franchise were interrupted by stints as head coach in Winnipeg and Ottawa. 

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