Darrel Leahy steps down as Flyers coach, team to play at AA level next season

Leahy took over the reins as head coach for the 2010-2011 season after spending four seasons as the team’s general manager. In Leahy’s final season as the team’s coach, he guided the Flyers to a Savage Cup title and an appearance in the Allan Cup tournament.

Flyers President Paul van Nostrand says the relationship Leahy had with his players will be among the things the club will miss the most.

“He’s always been about the team; I thought he did a good job of looking at things objectively,” van Nostrand explains. “He had pretty good rapport with the players. Those will be factors that are missed.”

As for the change itself, it was Leahy who approached the club, feeling that it was in the club’s best interest to go in a different direction, according to van Nostrand.

“He felt it was time for a change. He was losing the fire to coach I guess,” he says. “It was time for him to move on, and he knows we need some new blood in there. It was time.”

The team also confirmed that it will indeed play at the AA level and take part in a full North Peace Hockey League season. The change is something van Nostrand is excited about.

“I’m really looking forward to us being able to compete in the North Peace Hockey League playoffs. I think there’s a lot of good opportunities there,” he says.

Van Nostrand and new General Manager Lee Hartman will now be tasked with hiring a new head coach.

The hiring of Hartman as GM is also exciting, as his history with the Flyers and experience in team management made him an attractive choice.

“Lee is certainly a very experienced hockey guy. He has a lot of experience organizing and managing teams,” van Nostrand states. “He’s played with the Flyers. He brings a lot to the table; [we’re] certainly very fortunate to have him agree to come on board with us.”

The club’s next order of business will be naming a new head coach. The team is accepting resumes for the position.