The Philadelphia Flyers are on another coaching search after Craig Berube was fired last week. Whoever is hired will become the 19th coach in the organization’s history and will try to measure up to some of the legendary bench generals the Flyers have had over their existence.
Here are those coaches as the Metro ranks the top five all-time.
1. Fred Shero (1971-72 to 1977-78)
The organization’s all-time winning coach with 308 victories over nine season, Shero led the Flyers to their only Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. Known as the Broad Street Bullies for their physical nature, the Flyers nearly turned the run into a three-peat under Shero but lost to Montreal the following year.
Elected to the hockey Hall of Fame posthumously in 2013and the Flyers Hall of Fame in 1990, Shero also won four straight conference titles. He is also best remembered for writing on a blackboard before the Cup-clinching game in 1974, “Win together today and we walk together forever.”
2. Pat Quinn (1979-1982)
Hired in midseason in 1979, Quinn, who passes away last November, led team on 35-game unbeaten streak in the 1979-80 season. He won 141 games, which ranks third, and took the Flyers to the Cup finals, where they lost to Islanders. Quinn, who last coached with the Oilers in 2009-2010 and is one of the most respected coaches in the league.
3. Mike Keenan (1984-89)
The players who played for him have said they won in spite of him. It never bothered the firery coach, who led team to the Cup finals in 1985 and ’87. If the Flyers didn’t have to face Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers dynasty each time, Keenan may have won a Cup in Philly. Instead, he got his Cup with the Rangers in 1994. Keenan still won 190 games, which ranks him second in the organization.
4. Terry Murray (1994-1997)
Regardless of what he has accomplished or will before he retires from the ranks, Murray’s career in Philly will always be overshadowed by one comment he made during the Stanley Cup finals in 1997. Following a 6-1 loss to the Red Wings in Game 3 to go down 3-0, he said, “It is a choking situation for our team right now.”
Less than a week later, after the Flyers were swept, Murray was fired. Currently the Lehigh Valley Phantoms coach, Murray was 118-64-30 three seasons and 28-18 in the playoffs.
5. Ken Hitchcock (2002-2006)
After a disastrous season with Bill Barber as coach, the players wanted a coach who was tactical and a teacher. They found both in the meticulous and quirky Hitchcock, who got the most out of his roster. In his three full years, the Flyers won no less than 40 games and eclipsed 100 points each season. In his second season the Flyers lost to the Lightning in seven games in the conference finals.