Stevens to enter Phantoms Hall

Flyers coach John Stevens will be inducted into the Phantoms Hall of Fame before the Feb. 18 game against Norfolk, the team announced yesterday.

Stevens, 40, was with the Phantoms as a defenseman or coach from their inception in 1996 to last June, when he was named a Flyers assistant coach. He was named the Flyers head coach in October.

Stevens was the captain when the Phantoms won the Calder Cup in 1998 and head coach when they won the Cup in 2005.

"To me that's a great honor bestowed upon me by a great organization," Stevens said. "I was certainly very happy to hear the news, and I'm really flattered. It's amazing that the Phantoms have established such a great tradition in such a short time. To look back and see what they've done and the rivalries they've created, I just feel very fortunate to be a part of the organization for 10 years."

He joins Bill Barber, Frank Bialowas and Neil Little in the hall. Barber was the Phantoms coach during Stevens' playing career.

"Looking back, I couldn't have asked for a better captain for a hockey team," Barber said. "He's a leader, and they're hard to find today. We were very fortunate to have John Stevens on board when we won the Calder Cup. He was one of the main reasons we did win . . . He's a quality man and a family man that I highly respect." *