The coaching staff that led the Adirondack Phantoms to a stunning second-half reversal will return for another season.
Joe Paterson confirmed Thursday that he's been asked to return, along with assistant coach Riley Cote.
Paterson's return was first reported Thursday afternoon by PhillySportsDaily.com, which published an interview with Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren.
Paterson said Holmgren made the offer last month in Philadelphia between games of the Flyers-Buffalo Sabres first-round playoff series.
"We kind of agreed later that day, but I haven't signed a contract or anything," Paterson said.
Paterson said the contract is a formality.
"I think it's just more of a paper thing," Paterson said. "When teams agree, more so a handshake, I think things are pretty good."
Holmgren told PhillySportsDaily.com, "We've agreed [to a deal]. He's coming back."
Paterson went 25-16-2-6 as the Phantoms head coach after taking over on Dec. 20 from interim coach John Paddock, who he spent a month assisting.
The Phantoms got off to a 2-11 start under Greg Gilbert, who was fired on Nov. 8, and won just four times in their first 29 games.
Paddock, also the Flyers Assistant General Manager, said in April he was pleased with the job done by Paterson.
"He had to put a head coaching stamp or mentality on the team and he did, obviously, or the team wouldn't have been as successful," Paddock said. "I think he's a good one-on-one teacher. I think he has tremendous passion about everything he does, probably in life. But he has tremendous passion about the game, about hockey, about winning."
Paterson said he's excited to continue the work he began last season.
"Not everybody from this team will make the Flyers, so there will be a nucleus of guys coming back," Paterson said. "We kind of have a structure and a good understanding and a work ethic with some of the players, our coaching staff does. So we'll be able to start right off that."
Paterson, 50, has made his home in the Glens Falls area for many years. His Adirondack hockey roots are deep.
The Detroit Red Wings drafted Paterson in the fifth round in 1979. He began his professional career in 1980 with the Adirondack Red Wings and played parts of four seasons with the club.
Paterson began his coaching career with the Adirondack Red Wings, spending two years as an assistant to Newell Brown between 1992-94. He had head coaching stints in the Ontario Hockey League with Sault St. Marie and in the American Hockey League with Louisville.
Paterson spent five years as an AHL assistant with Hamilton and Toronto. He was scouting for the Atlanta organization last season when the Flyers hired him.
Paterson also has ties to the Flyers. He played parts of two seasons in the 1980s with the organization.