Stevens says he feels lucky to have been a Flyer

Recently fired Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Stevens had

only positive things to say about his former team Monday when he

spoke publicly for the first time since he was fired last week.

Stevens was let go by general manager Paul Holmgren and replaced

by Peter Laviolette. The Flyers had lost six of their last seven

games – the last two by shutout – when Holmgren decided a change

was needed. Holmgren indicated he will offer Stevens another

position in the organization but Stevens said he would like to keep

his options open.

“Your emotions are disappointment, it’s more about letting

people down,” Stevens said during a conference call. “You go

through a process like this, the team not meeting expectations, you

feel responsible. I feel extremely lucky to be part of this

organization for so many years (drafted by the Flyers in 1984), to

have worked for an organization totally committed to winning.”

Stevens took the Flyers from the worst record in 2006-07 to the

Eastern Conference finals in 2007-08. If he has any regret, it’s

that he wasn’t able to get the Flyers to the final step.

“Obviously my goal and dream was to win the Stanley Cup and

that didn’t happen,” he said. “I think it will be important for

me to pull back and review what went on here.”

Stevens is known for keeping his emotions on an even keel behind

the bench. He finished his tenure in Philadelphia with a record of

120-109-34.

“I’m going to miss it here,” Stevens said. “My family (sons

John and Nolan) has grown up here, the passion of the Philadelphia

sports fans is unbelievable. The atmosphere at home games is

something I will miss.”

Holmgren said the decision to fire Stevens was among the most

difficult he’s made in his career. Stevens reiterated that he

understood why the change was made.

“I think he’s doing what he feels in his heart he has to do to

win,” Stevens said. “Peter Laviolette is a good man, a good

coach. I respect Paul’s decision and I’m moving on. I have nothing

but fondness and respect for Holmgren.”

Stevens declined to comment on the team’s performance leading up

to his dismissal. As for the future, he said he would love to coach

again in the NHL.

“Coaching is something that I love to do,” he said. “I would

love to do it again.”