Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Terry Murray close to Flyers return

PITTSBURGH -- Even after the Kings captured the Stanley Cup just a little more than a week ago in Southern California, the Flyers’ relationship with Los Angeles continues to take strange turns.

Terry Murray close to Flyers return

PITTSBURGH -- Even after the Kings captured the Stanley Cup just a little more than a week ago in Southern California, the Flyers’ relationship with Los Angeles continues to take strange turns.

On Saturday, for instance, the Kings drafted Czech Republic native Tomas Hyka with the 171st pick in the 2012 Draft. Hyka, 19, was very impressive in the Flyers’ prospect camp last summer, before the Flyers found out they could not sign the draft eligible player as a free agent. He went on to post 64 points in 50 games with Claude Giroux’s old junior team this season, before being snapped up by the Kings... with a pick that was originally property of the Flyers.

Now, former Kings coach Terry Murray, who was fired by Los Angeles on Dec. 12, is nearing the start of an unprecedented fifth stint (see below) with the Flyers organization.

Following up on a story first reported by RDS’ Renaud Lavoie, Murray could become the next head coach of the Adirondack Phantoms.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the Daily News on Saturday that the two sides have indeed spoken about a job. Apparently, a position as the Phantoms’ top coach is not the only offer on the table.

“We have spoken,” Holmgren said. “Nothing is in place.”

Holmgren asked for and received permission from Kings general manager Dean Lombardi to speak with Murray, since he is still under contract with Los Angeles through the 2012-13 season.

Murray, 61, was fired by the Kings just one win short of 500 in the NHL. He was 137-106-30 in parts of four seasons with the Kings. Murray did Eastern-based scouting for the Kings during the playoffs this year. During the Kings' on-ice Stanley Cup celebration, Lombardi made sure to praise Murray in interviews as being a part of the team that won it all.

Lombardi said Murray will receive a Stanley Cup ring for his service to the team, despite being fired a full six months before the Kings actually won.

Murray was fired as head coach of the Flyers just a few days after being swept by Detroit in the 1997 Stanley Cup final. He was 118-64-30 behind the Flyers’ bench from 1994-97. He is 499-383-89-41 (.557) in his NHL career.

From 2001 until being hired by the Kings in 2008, Murray was a professional scout for the Flyers before serving under Ken Hitchcock and John Stevens as an assistant coach. He also played with the Flyers from 1975-77 and 1978-81.

Holmgren fired Phantoms coach Joe Paterson back on May 22 after a year and a half on the job, accomplishing more than any other coach in recent memory with a talented-depleted roster. The Phantoms’ job needs stability, as they will be moving on to their fourth coach in four seasons since the Flyers’ top minor-league affiliate relocated from Philadelphia to Glens Falls, N.Y., in 2009.

TERRY MURRAY: The Ultimate Flyer timeline?

1975-1977: 39 games played, 0 goals, 13 assists.
     -Traded (with broadcaster Steve Coates) to Detroit on Feb. 17, 1977-
1978-1981: 76 games played, 1 goal, 17 assists.
     -Retired as a player-
1994-1997: 118-64-30 record as Flyers’ head coach, ’97 Eastern Conf. Champions
    -Fired on June 13, 1997 from Flyers, hired by Florida-
2001-2004: Pro Scout for the Flyers
2004-2008: Flyers’ assistant coach under Ken Hitchcock, John Stevens
    -Hired by Los Angeles on July 17, 2008-
2012: ????

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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Frequent Flyers is your home for news and analysis of all things orange and black. Reach Frank at seravaf@phillynews.com.

Frank Seravalli Daily News Sports Columnist
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