This season has been a disastrous one. Everything that could’ve gone wrong, did go wrong. From players not living up to their potential, to a handful of injuries and COVID setbacks, two 10-game losing streaks, and even a head coach being fired.
The Philadelphia Flyers will need to make some big changes this offseason both on the ice and behind the bench if they want to be fighting for a spot in the playoffs next season.
There are a number of former head coaches the North American market and even one overseas. Here are five who should be candidates for the Flyers:
The all-time Flyers leader in penalty minutes, and a member of the Flyers Hall of Fame, Rick Tocchet is a very familiar name within the organization and with the fans. Tocchet played 11 seasons with the Flyers from 1984-1992, 1999-2002.
He had head coaching gigs with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes, but didn’t see much success with either team. He was also an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins during their back-to-back Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017.
His head coaching career isn’t all that flashy, but having the experience of winning two Stanley Cups as an assistant looks good on any resume. Plus, he’s a former Flyer, which fans may either like or dislike.
He took the Bruins to seven straight postseasons, made two appearances in the Stanley Cup Final and won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Bruins after defeating Alain Vigneault’s Canucks in Game 7.
He was the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens (twice,) and also of the New Jersey Devils for a season. He was also the head coach of Team Canada at the 2022 Olympic Games.
He wasn’t able to bring a lot of the success that he had with the Bruins with him back to the Canadiens in his second go around, but he’s eager to get back behind the bench.
As the current interim head coach of the Flyers, Mike Yeo hasn’t done a bad job since taking over after Vigneault. The Flyers have been playing much better hockey under Yeo, but they still haven’t been able to find positive results.
Yeo has head coaching experience with the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues, so he’s a name that Chuck Fletcher should keep on the table for next season.
The current head coach of the ZSC Lions in the National League, Gronborg is the first person on this list with no prior coaching experience in the NHL. If the Flyers are looking outside of the NHL for a coach, Gronborg should be at the top of their list.
Gronborg has been apart of the Swedish National Team coaching staff for many years. He’s helped lead the Swedes to two World Championship Gold medals (twice as an assistant and once as head coach), multiple World Junior Championship medals and even an Olympic Gold medal in 2014.
Gronborg has a very successful track record overseas, and he has even turned around the ZSC Lions. If the Flyers are looking for a breath of fresh air in the franchise, Gronborg is that guy.
Probably the most popular head coach on this entire list, every hockey fan has heard of John Tortorella. A current ESPN studio analyst for the NHL, he was the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the previous six seasons.
Tortorella is popular for having his way with words with players and the media. Despite being known as a very tough coach, he has 673 wins to his name along with a Stanley Cup ring with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.
He was also the winner of the Jack Adams award in 2004 (Lightning) and in 2017 (Blue Jackets). He’s coached in the NHL for 20 seasons with the Lightning, Rangers, Canucks and Blue Jackets.
If the Flyers do hire Tortorella, many fans will be praising the move and many will be shaking their heads in disbelief. But who knows, maybe Tortorella is the guy the Flyers actually need.
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)