Handling of Mason leaves Flyers without goalie coach
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason makes a save against the New York Rangers during Game 7 of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
The Philadelphia Flyers announced Friday that goaltending coach Jeff Reese is no longer with the team.
And the reason reportedly stems from the handling of goaltender Steve Mason this season.
"It was a mutual agreement between both parties," general manager Ron Hextall said in a statement. "Jeff was an integral part of our coaching staff for the past six seasons and we wish him well."
Reese, 48, joined the Flyers in 2009 after eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff, including the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup Championship.
"I'd like to thank the Flyers' organization for the opportunity to help coach the Flyers for the past six seasons," Reese said. "I've enjoyed my time here and I wish the Flyers all the success in the world. Having said that, I would appreciate it if the media would respect my privacy as I will not be making any further comment."
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Reese's relationship with the Flyers began to deteriorate after Mason replaced starter Rob Zepp in a Feb. 26 game in Toronto after allowing two goals against the Maple Leafs.
Mason, who was still recovering from surgery to his right knee but dressed as the backup because the Flyers had salary cap issues and couldn't afford to bring in another goalie, was told he would not play that night unless Zepp was seriously injured.
"Sometimes, things happen that are hard to understand in the game of hockey," Mason told the Daily News. "Honestly, for me, it just happened out of the blue."
Reese reportedly also voiced his concerns about Mason's use on two other occasions this season.