2013 HHOF Profile: Fred Shero


More often than not a team’s success is linked to the players that are on the team rather than the men behind the bench. A head coach does most of his work in silence as they make their impression where nobody else can see. Whether it is on the ice during practices or in the locker room when cameras aren’t allowed a coach can make a massive difference on a team. Players can go from undisciplined to disciplined with the right approach by a coach. They can go from being too young to having youthful energy with a coach that knows how to harness the young energy of his players. The key to doing this for a coach is to gain the trust of his players and make them buy in to what he wants them to do. When a coach has a group of players that would do anything for him he can have plenty of success in the NHL. When a group of players losses faith in their coach that is when a team begins to struggle and problems begin to arise. With the trust of the players making up some of the most important aspects of coaching it becomes the biggest challenge for any coach. The best way to get this respect is to know exactly where the players are coming from and what the players are going through. It is not something that can be learned though as it takes someone who has been through the grind to know what the players are going through. This is why some of the best coaches in the game are those coaches that played the game. They may not be the superstars of the game but they are the type of players that have been through everything that a player can go through. The call-ups and demotions, the injuries, the trades, and everything else that goes with being a player in the NHL make players turned coaches someone who teams players can trust. This is what would happen to Fred Shero as a player who spent the majority of his career in the AHL while playing with the New York Rangers organization. Shero would move to coaching once his career was finished and became a coach that his players could trust because he knew what they were going through. For that trust Shero would become one of the greatest coaches in NHL history and now will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame and will receive the respect from the NHL that his players had for him in his years as a coach.

Fred Shero was the type of coach that players loved to play for in a time when there were not many of those coaches around. During the 1970s coaching was more about the hard-nosed men who had a way of doing things that was their way or nothing. For the former player this was not the best way to go about things as the Shero believed the best way to get the most out of his players was to let them be themselves. Shero was known as a coach who would rarely embarrass a player by leaving notes in their lockers rather than calling them out in front of everyone. When he did talk to a player face to face he would never raise his voice seeing no point in yelling at a player. He was the type of coach that would defend his players through everything and to everyone. This is why the players loved to play for him as they knew that their coach was with them and was truly a part of the team. They also loved playing for him because he won. By changing the way things were done Shero would be able to achieve plenty of success behind the bench of the Philadelphia Flyers. Using game film and studying the USSR teams Shero would be the first coach to develop systems for a team. He would also value toughness in his teams and all of that put together would create one of the greatest eras in Flyers history. Shero was the architect for the “Broad Street Bullies” era in Philadelphia where the Flyers would be the toughest team on the ice and would win because of it. 2 Stanley Cups later Shero would enter the annals of great coaches and now will enter the hall alongside the best ever. For changing the way coaches operated Shero has earned his spot in the hall and will rightfully be honoured among the great Class of 2013.


Fred Shero, Coach (1971-1981)
Head Coach, Philadelphia Flyers (1971-1978)
390-225-119 career NHL record
2-Time Stanley Cup Champion (1974, 1975)
Calder Trophy Champion (1970)
Jack Adams Award [NHL Coach of the Year] (1974)
Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Trophy [AHL Coach of the Year] (1970)
Lester Patrick Trophy [Contributions to Hockey in the USA] (1980)

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