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Flyers Add Asst. Who Didn’t Coach Last Season Due to COVID Protocol

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Rocky Thompson, Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers finally made it official Thursday: Rocky Thompson was named an assistant on their coaching staff.

Thompson, along with the recently hired Brad Shaw (associate coach), will join head coach John Tortorella’s staff behind the bench.

Two weeks ago, Thompson’s expected hiring was reported by several outlets, including Philly Hockey Now.

A hard-nosed right winger during his playing days, Thompson spent most of his years in the AHL. He played in a total of 25 NHL games for Calgary and Florida, collecting no points and 117 penalty minutes.

“Rocky is an important addition to our staff and we are excited to start working with him,” Tortorella said in a statement. “He has a sharp mind and eye for the game, but from the first time we sat down to speak it was clear that he brings enthusiasm and a high-level of energy needed for this job. His communication skills are going to be vital to our locker room.”

Thompson, who turns 45 next month, joins the Flyers after spending the 2020-21 season as an associate coach for the San Jose Sharks. Before last season, the Sharks announced he would not be returning.

Medical exemption

“Due to a medical exemption that prevents me from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, under the new league protocols, I am not permitted to fulfill my duties on the Sharks coaching staff at this time,” Thompson said in a statement last September.

The NHL said any person whose job requires them to be within 12 feet of the players must be vaccinated for COVID.

In his only season with San Jose, Thompson ran the Sharks’ power play, which finished 29th in the NHL in 2020-21. He reportedly challenged Evander Kane to a fight after one power-play meeting, complaining about the winger’s positioning on the unit.

Thompson will handle the Flyers’ power play, which clicked at 12.6 percent last season and was last in the 32-team NHL.

Associate coach Brad Shaw will direct the Philadelphia Flyers’ penalty kill.

Thompson was the head coach of the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League for three seasons (2017-20), compiling a 113-71-29 record.

In 2018-19, he had his best season, directing the Wolves to a 44-22-10 record and a spot in the  Calder Cup Finals.

Thompson served as an assistant coach in the Edmonton Oilers’ organization for five seasons. He spent four seasons coaching the club’s AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, from 2010-14 before moving to the Oilers in 2014-15.

A Calgary native, he began his coaching career in the Ontario Hockey League with the Windsor Spitfires.  He recorded an 81-40-15 record from 2015-17.

Thompson played 10 seasons of professional hockey. In the AHL, he had three seasons with over 230 minutes in penalties.

Ticketing VP named

The Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center announced that Lisa Feigenbaum has joined the organization as senior vice president of ticketing.  Feigenbaum, a sports executive with over a decade of sales and service experience, will join the leadership team and oversee all ticketing at Wells Fargo Center, including Flyers, Wings, concerts, family shows, and other events.

“Lisa will bring deep experience and knowledge in the ticketing and service space to our team, and we’re looking forward to her helping elevate our overall guest experience,” said Mike Shane, chief business officer for the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center. “She brings an unmatched energy to the position and her leadership will elevate our sales initiatives.”

Feigenbaum joins the organization from the XFL where she held the same title. Prior to that she an executive with the Dallas Wings of the WNBA and Panther City Lacrosse of the NLL.

Before her time in Texas, she spent eight years with the Sacramento Kings, where she held numerous  positions before becoming the vice president of groups, premium hospitality and event sales.

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Gregg M

Between Thompson and Shaw and the record they each bring to the table it’s looking like the Flyers will definitely be in the running for one of those three generational players available at the draft next year. But with their luck, they will get the fourth or fifth pick.

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