News that didn’t really make much noise at the NHL Draft this weekend–given the Flyers successful draft and the trade of Grossman and Pronger’s contract on the closing day of the draft–is the the hiring of Kim Dillabaugh as the Flyers new goaltending coach. An official announcement from the Flyers is expected this week.
Dillabaugh, most recently the director of goaltending development for the Los Angeles Kings, replaces Jeff Reese.
Make no mistake: this is big news and a terrific hire, given the circumstances. You might recall that the Flyers and Reese made what they called a “mutual” split in March. Reports at the time alleged that Reese was incensed at what he saw as the misuse of G Steve Mason.
In a late February game in Toronto, then Flyers head coach Craig Berube brought Mason into the game after starter Rob Zepp allowed two goals. Mason, who was told he would only be suiting up because the team had salary cap issues, was assured that he would not play unless Zepp sustained serious injury.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi told CSNPhilly.com that he allowed Dillabaugh to speak to several NHL clubs before Dillabaugh chose the Flyers. “He decided to go to the Flyers because he’s got a fair contract and his relationship with Hexy,” Lombardi said.
The 37-year-old Dillabaugh (pronounced dill-uh-bow) served as the director of goaltender development for the Kings for eight seasons. He played in the WHL for three seasons in the 1990s, and served as the Kelowna Rockets goaltending coach for 11 seasons.
He also spent 10 years working with the Goaltender Development Institute (GDI), and has served as the goalie coach for Hockey Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team in the 2004 and 2006 Junior World Cup.