Holmgren fires Phantoms coach Gilbert

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.

Last week, Flyers prospect Pat Maroon - who was leading the Phantoms in scoring with 5 goals in 8 games - was told to pack his gear and leave the team.

Stefan Legein and Jon Kalinski were also given warnings to either shape up their attitudes or ship out like Maroon.

Maroon’s dismissal, which general manager Paul Holmgren pegged in the Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star as a behavioral issue, stemmed from a disagreement with the coaching staff.

It turns out, Maroon wasn’t alone.

Holmgren flew to Glens Falls on Monday night to relieve Phantoms coach Greg Gilbert of his duties, the Daily News has learned.

The young Phantoms are in last place in the AHL with a 2-10-1 record. They’re in the midst of a 9-game losing streak.

“I met with Greg Gilbert earlier this evening and relieved him of his duties as head coach of the Adirondack Phantoms,” Holmgren said in a statement. “The lack of success for the team of late is not acceptable and I believe this move became necessary under the circumstances. I think Greg is a good coach, but something needed to be done. We want to thank Greg for his service to our organization and we wish him well. John Paddock will take over as head coach immediately.”

Assistant general manager John Paddock, a long-time AHL coach and AHL Hall of Famer, will take over as interim head coach with Riley Cote remaining as an assistant coach.

“This is not an easy day with having to replace someone that I got to know very well over the last year and a half, but with Paul believing we need to move forward like this, I look forward to the challenge,” Paddock said. “We need to do all we can to get the team playing at a higher level.”

Holmgren called an 8 o’clock meeting on Monday night to inform the team, before heading to Toronto for the NHL’s annual fall general managers meeting on Tuesday.

Maroon could be traded or loaned to another AHL team as soon as Tuesday, when Holmgren will have a chance to meet with all 29 of the other general managers. Tampa Bay has been pegged as a prime candidate for a trade or loan, according to a team source.

To read more about Maroon’s story, click here.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter (http://twitter.com/DNFlyers).