The Philadelphia Flyers have often shown loyalty toward former players, which makes today's coaching and front office decisions no surprise.
Terry Murray, late of the Los Angeles Kings, and Ian Laperriere were both hired by the Flyers today. Murray will become the head coach of the Adirondack Phantoms, while Laperriere will become the team's Director of Player Development.
Laperriere is such an affable guy, that his recent retirement announcement surely didn't feel like it was going to be the last time that we saw him connected to the orange regime.
The Quebec native began his National Hockey League career with the St. Louis Blues in 1993-94 and went on to play for the New York Rangers, Kings and Colorado Avalanche before signing as a free agent with the Flyers on July 1, 2009.
'Lappy' became a fan favorite despite the fact that he only played one season in Philadelphia due to an injury that was suffered in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
On a personal note, having had the chance to speak with Laperriere this past season, I am one of many who can verify that he is a genuine and very personable man. His intellect, love for the game and passion will all serve him well as he begins this next part of his hockey career.
Long-time Flyers fans don't need to read a lot of detail about the 1996-97 season, which proved to be Murray's last as head coach in Philadelphia. Certainly, Detroit Red Wings loyalists are most deserving of expounding upon the spring developments that took place in the Stanley Cup Final 15 years ago.
Fast forward through Murray's years with the Florida Panthers and assistant coaching stints under Ken Hitchcock and John Stevens and we arrive at the 2008-09 season, when he became head coach of the Kings. Murray remained in that spot until this past December, when Stevens temporarily took over for him until Darryl Sutter was hired.
As all hardcore hockey fans know, Sutter then led the Kings to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship earlier this month. The Kings victory over the New Jersey Devils was one that all Flyers fans were connected to. Philadelphia's division rival was defeated by an organization that was filled with Flyers alumni.
With whatever anyone thinks about Murray's past coaching resume, or even his long-gone days as a Flyers defenseman in the 1970s and early 1980s, he has a hockey pedigree that should be useful in an American Hockey League environment. Beyond that, Holmgren trusts him and that is the reason why many companies hire people to handle management positions.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He has written professionally for over two decades and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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