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11-10-2011, 07:03 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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John Stevens selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame

A tough defensive defenseman, John Stevens was regarded as one of the top blueliners in the AHL during his playing days, and when injury forced him off the ice he found success as a coach as well.

A native of Campbellton, N.B., Stevens was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1984 and made his professional debut with the Hershey Bears at the age of 18. His first four pro seasons were split between Hershey and Philadelphia, and he was a member of the Bears’ 1988 Calder Cup championship team.

After signing with the Hartford Whalers in 1990, Stevens spent most of the next six seasons in Springfield, where he captained the Indians to a Calder Cup title in 1991. Three years later, Stevens was named the first captain of the Springfield Falcons and scored the first goal in Falcons history – one of just 21 goals he would score in his entire AHL career. He was also selected to be one of the playing captains for the 1996 AHL All-Star Classic, held at his first professional home: Hersheypark Arena.

Stevens returned to the Flyers organization in 1996 and was again turned to for leadership on a new club as he was given the captain’s “C” for the first-year Philadelphia Phantoms. The Phantoms finished with the best record in the AHL in their inaugural season, and a year later won the 1998 Calder Cup title.

An eye injury ended Stevens’ playing career in December 1998, but he remained with the club as an assistant coach under Bill Barber. Stevens was promoted to the head coaching position in 2000 and spent six seasons at the helm, winning another Calder Cup in 2005. He was promoted to the Flyers in 2006, first as an assistant coach and then as head coach, and is now in his second season as an assistant with the Los Angeles Kings.

Stevens has participated in more than 1,400 regular-season AHL games as a player, assistant coach and head coach. His 834 games played are currently ninth-most by a defenseman in league history, and he also ranks 15th all-time with 102 Calder Cup Playoff games played.

Stevens is one of 16 men in AHL history to win Calder Cups as both a player and a head coach, a group that includes AHL Hall of Famers Bun Cook, Frank Mathers, Fred Glover, John Paddock, Bruce Boudreau and fellow 2012 inductee Jack Gordon.

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