John has built strong relationships with many of our young players as well as with the players that joined us over the summer,'' Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. ''We believe that he is the right coach to lead our team in a positive direction.''
Stevens was promoted from the Flyers AHL team on October 22, 2006. He had coached the Phantoms for six seasons, and won a Calder Cup championship in 2005.
''They have a long history of winning here and I am excited to be a part of that moving forward,'' Stevens said.
The Flyers are in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a 16-13-3 mark, good for 35 points in 32 games.
Although the Flyers are the highest scoring team in the division, Stevens' group has been in the spotlight this season for rough play.
So far this season, the Flyers have had five players suspended for on-ice acts of violence: Steve Downie got 20 games for a head shot on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond; Jesse Boulerice got 25 games for a crosscheck to the head of Vancouver Ryan Kesler; Randy Jones got two games for a hit from behind on Boston's Patrice Bergeron; Scott Hartnell got two games for hitting Boston's Andrew Alberts' head into the boards when the player was on his knees and defenceless; and now Cote's high head-shot on Niskanen netted a three game suspension.
The league reportedly put the Flyers "on notice" in early December.
In his last full season as a coach in the AHL (2005-2006), the Phantoms led the AHL in penalty minutes with 2,380.
Earlier this season, the Flyers extended the contracts of Braydon Coburn and leading scorer Mike Richards. The Richards deal was notable, as it stretched out to 12 years. Coburn's deal was for two seasons.