The Philadelphia Flyers
announced today that Craig Berube
has been named an assistant coach, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. Berube, the head coach of the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms
, was promoted to replace John Stevens
, who was named Flyers head coach. He joins Terry Murray as an assistant coach for the Flyers.
In addition, the Flyers announced that Kjell Samuelsson
was promoted to replace Berube as the fourth head coach in Phantoms history.
“Craig will be a good fit for John,” said Holmgren in making the announcement. “They have worked together the last couple of years with the Phantoms and they have a real good bond. Terry and Craig also have a good relationship, so I’m very happy that we’re able to do that (promote Berube) and get those guys all together here tomorrow morning for practice.”
“We’ve also appointed Kjell Samuelsson
the head coach of the Phantoms. I think that is a good move for Kjell, as well as a good move for the organization. Last summer, when John moved up to the Flyers, it was a very difficult decision to make between Kjell and Craig in terms of who was going to be the head coach. They are both very qualified coaches and good hockey guys.”
“I’m thrilled,” said Berube. “Any time that you have the opportunity to be in the NHL, especially in the Flyers organization - a place where I’ve lived and played for a number of years, it’s exciting.
“It was fun (coaching the Phantoms). I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot. I would like to do that (run a team) again someday. I have worked with John (Stevens) before with the Phantoms for a few years. I played for Terry (Murray) and I think that it’s going to be a good mixture.”
“I have been here for seven years and I think I have a lot of experience,” said Samuelsson. “I will continue what we started and play with hard forechecking, using the speed and skill that we have.”
Berube, 40, was named head coach of the Phantoms on June 14, 2006 and led the team to a 3-2-1 record in six games this season. Prior to being named head coach of the Phantoms, Berube served as an assistant coach for the team for parts of three seasons (2003-04 through 2005-06). He joined the Phantoms organization after signing as a free agent on November 18, 2003, and was named a player/assistant coach on January 29, 2004. He recorded six assists and 134 penalty minutes in 33 regular season games for the Phantoms during the 2003-04 season, his 18th and final professional season.
Over parts of 17 NHL seasons (1986-87 through 2002-03), Berube registered 61 goals and 98 assists for 159 points and 3,149 penalty minutes in 1,054 career regular season games for the Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs
, Calgary Flames
, Washington Capitals
and New York Islanders
. His 3,149 career penalty minutes ranks seventh on the NHL’s All-Time List.
In parts of seven seasons with the Flyers (1986-87 through 1990-91 and 1998-99 & 1999-2000), Berube recorded 20 goals and 34 assists for 54 points and 1,138 penalty minutes in 323 regular season games. His 1,138 penalty minutes ranks ninth on the Flyers’ All-Time List. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Flyers on March 19, 1986.
Samuelsson, 48, was in his seventh season as an assistant coach with the Phantoms, after being named to the position in July 2000. He has also served as an assistant coach with the Trenton Titans
of the East Coast Hockey League during the 1999-2000 season.
He played 14 seasons in the NHL (1985-86 through 1998-99) with the New York Rangers
, Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins
and Tampa Bay Lightning
. The former defenseman recorded 48 goals and 138 assists for 186 points and 1,225 penalty minutes in 813 regular season NHL games. In parts of nine seasons with the Flyers (1986-87 to 1991-92 and 1995-96 through 1997-98), Samuelsson registered 35 goals and 106 assists for 141 points and 815 penalty minutes in 545 regular season games. He won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers’ most outstanding defenseman twice, for the 1988-89 and 1990-91 seasons.
Samuelsson was originally drafted by the New York Rangers
in the sixth round (119th overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.