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Brad Shaw to serve as associate coach for Flyers

After another dizzying round of coaching musical chairs, it appears the Flyers have one more coach to work alongside newly appointed head coach John Tortorella behind the Philadelphia bench next season.

Brad Shaw will reportedly take the reigns as an associate coach for the club and will have the duty of working with the defensemen and penalty killers. Shaw’s role is the same he had previously in Vancouver and also in Columbus, where he worked with Tortorella from 2016 to 2021.

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said at his press conference on Wednesday that they would be searching for “two top-level assistants” while retaining assistant Darryl Williams, goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh, and video coach Adam Patterson. Williams will likely return to his pre-scouting type role he had before temporarily stepping behind the Flyers’ bench, and Shaw has now filled one of Philadelphia’s two vacancies.

The news was first brought to light after the Canucks announced their coaching staff for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Former Flyers assistant and interim head coach Mike Yeo will serve as an assistant in Vancouver, effectively switching places with Shaw. Trent Cull is also joining Yeo behind the bench on Bruce Boudreau’s staff.

But in the Canucks’ release, Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin stated, “We would like to thank Brad Shaw for his contributions to the club and wish him the best of luck in Philadelphia.” So the Canucks more or less let the cat out of the bag.

Shaw brings 18 seasons of NHL coaching experience with him to Philadelphia after patrolling the blueline in parts of 12 seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals, and St. Louis Blues. He began his coaching career with the Tampa Bay Lightning as an assistant coach in 1999 on Steve Ludzik’s staff. He left his position after the season and began a one-year stint as the head coach of the IHL’s Detroit Vipers for 2000-01, and then he left Detroit to serve as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons the following year.

He resumed his NHL coaching career with the New York Islanders in 2005-06 after enjoying success as head coach of the AHL’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks from 2002 to 2005. He was originally an assistant but then filled in as the interim head coach after Steve Stirling was fired 42 games into the season. Shaw was relieved of his duties after the year closed out as the Islanders missed the playoffs, and he joined Mike Kitchen’s staff in St. Louis. Shaw would spend the following 10 seasons with the Blues as an assistant coach and associate coach under Kitchen, Andy Murray, Davis Payne, and Ken Hitchcock from 2006 to 2017.

Shaw went on to coach alongside John Tortorella with the Columbus Blue Jackets beginning with the 2016-17 season, and spent five seasons as a Blue Jackets assistant coach before following Tortorella in his departure following the 2020-21 season. Shaw spent this past season with the aforementioned Canucks before joining the Flyers and reuniting with Tortorella. In Shaw’s first season with Columbus, their penalty kill improved immediately, going from 81% in 2015-16 to 82.5% in 2016-17, good enough for a ten-position boost from 19th to 9th in the league in penalty killing percentage. The PK regressed drastically in 2017-18, but they came back stronger than ever in 2018-19 as they tied the Tampa Bay Lightning for the league lead in PK% at 85%, and of course went on to upset the Lightning in the opening round of the playoffs.

Columbus’ PK overall through Shaw’s tenture killed penalties at an 80.9% rate, good for 12th in the league in that five-season stretch. In that same span, the Flyers only killed penalties at 78% rate, bad enough for 27th in the league, and outside of a surprise 11th place penalty killing finish in 2019-20 (81.8%), the Flyers finished no better than 21st and finished in the bottom-six four times in that span. Basically, Shaw’s hiring should definitely be a major contributing factor in helping the penalty kill regain form and not get eviscerated on a nightly basis.

Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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