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Phantoms to have new coach next season

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  • Phantoms to have new coach next season

    It’s official. The Adirondack Phantoms will begin their time in Glens Falls with a new coach.

    A Flyers spokesman confirmed that the organization will name a replacement for John Paddock, who was promoted to assistant general manager on Thursday.

    Phantoms vice president of operations Mike Thompson said he expects the Flyers to make a decision within the next couple of weeks.

    Paddock’s new role as assistant general manager includes oversight of the Phantoms and their coaches.

    Until a new coach is named its hard to assess the on-ice impact, but there’s no doubt that Paddock’s behind-the-bench experience will be tough to replace. Paddock*is third all-time in the AHL in total wins and is the winningest coach in Calder Cup Playoff history. He’s the only man to take three different organizations to Calder Cup titles. Of course, Paddock isn’t going far. He’ll still have oversight of the coaching staff.

    No one is talking on the record about what direction the coaching search is headed, but it’s logical to think that Paddock’s assistants, Kjell Samuelsson and Neil Little, may be candidates.

    Little is practically Mr. Phantom. He*was an original member of the*team and won two Calder Cups as a goaltender with the Phantoms. He’s 35 and has been an assistant for two seasons.

    For Samuelsson, it’s more complicated. He was an assistant with the Phantoms from 2000-2006, when he took over as the team’s head coach. He was the head coach for one season (06-07) during which the Phantoms posted a 28-39-1 record and missed the playoffs. At the end of the year he returned to the associate head coach role he still holds.

    Samuelsson played in the NHL for 14 seasons, nine with the Flyers, before retiring in 1999.

    So that’s where things stand. Who’s on your wish list to be the first coach of the Adirondack Phantoms?

    – Tim McManus