Flyers offering old-school Tortorella head coaching job, per source


Incoming, Flyers fans.

John Tortorella time could be nearing.

The Flyers have planned to offer their head coaching job to the fiery, old-school Tortorella, a source confirmed.

ESPN's Kevin Weekes first broke the news late Tuesday night. At 11:04 p.m. ET, Weekes reported the club and Tortorella were in "late-stage negotiations" but a deal was not done.

If Tortorella is the guy, he'll take over a Flyers team that has missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94. The organization endured a disastrous 2021-22 season in which the club went 25-46-11. Over these last two seasons, the Flyers surrendered 3.56 goals per game, tied for worst in the league.

Tortorella, who turns 64 years old in nine days, has 20 years of NHL head coaching experience. Trademarks of Tortorella-coached teams are accountability and discipline. They play the right way and prevent goals.

"Clearly injuries were a significant part of things, but I think it goes a little bit deeper than that," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in early May after his team's season. "We just really struggled this year. We were defending all the time and that's something we have to look at. We weren't exiting D-zone well enough. So there are certainly things we have to look at in terms of our structure, our details. We didn't have the puck enough and when you defend all the time, bad things happen.


"I go back to process and hopefully with coaching and looking at a few different ways, we can try to have the puck a little bit more often and not spend so much time in D-zone, make the game a little bit easier."

Tortorella led the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup title, is a two-time Jack Adams Award winner (Coach of the Year), has three seasons of 100 or more points, 12 playoff berths and 10 series victories.

He last coached the Blue Jackets in 2020-21 and has done in-studio color commentary for ESPN this season. Those in the Flyers' organization know his track record well. He coached the Rangers for parts of six seasons.

Cam Atkinson, who has quickly become a well-respected member of the Flyers' leadership group, played for Tortorella during the coach's entire tenure in Columbus. The Blue Jackets allowed the NHL's 11th-fewest goals per game at 2.75 in parts of six seasons under Tortorella and had a top-10 penalty kill during that span at 81.2 percent.

Prior to Tortorella taking over in Columbus, the Blue Jackets had missed the playoffs for 12 of 14 seasons since the inception of the franchise in 2000. With Tortorella, Columbus had a run of four consecutive postseason appearances.

"You practice how you play. Especially when I turned pro, I learned that from John Tortorella," Atkinson said at his end-of-the-season press conference in late April. "He was great in that aspect.

"I think going into next year, we just have to find a way to have some more grit, some more jam and more 'F you' to our game, on both sides of the puck. In our crease, defending our goalie and in their crease. I think we were a pretty soft team this year in my opinion."

Tortorella can be curt but oftentimes entertaining. Some may argue his no bulls--t coaching style comes with a short shelf life.

His résumé is deep but he has not had as much playoff success as some of the other established coaches in the league. Tortorella is 56-64 lifetime in the postseason and has suffered six opening-round exits.

More: Since Day 1, Trotz still seems like ideal fit to Flyers — but can they get him?

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