We’ve all heard the news. The Philadelphia Flyers have offered the head coaching job to John Tortorella. Today, he met with the organization to discuss an agreement to a contract, per Pierre LeBrun. According to Charlie O’Connor, an official announcement will come tomorrow:
Another top candidate for the Flyers’ head coaching job was Barry Trotz. Both interviewed for the role. Kevin Weekes was the first to report that Philadelphia will offer the head coaching role to Tortorella. However, he didn’t receive the first offer. Trotz did, and it would’ve made him the highest-paid coach in the NHL.
When Trotz turned down the offer from the Flyers, the attention shifted to Tortorella. Anthony SanFilippo reported that the figure presented to Trotz was upwards of $7mil per season.
Hiring Tortorella sets an edge that Philadelphia missed from 2019-2020. That was the first season under the guide of Alain Vigneault. Cam Atkinson mentioned Tortorella towards the end of the season, foreshadowing things to come. A no-nonsense coach, the 2022-2023 season will test the resiliency of this roster.
Dave Scott used an outside agency to conduct interviews, a more common method than you would believe. Tortorella is not an exclusive Chuck Fletcher hire. The hiring committee enlisted by Scott graded Tortorella as the best option to fit the current state of the Flyers.
Fletcher is likely on the hot seat in 2022-2023. Last season was despicable on and off the ice as many long-time fans were disengaging. Philadelphia used to be a hockey city. In 2021-2022, you could hear the opposing fans as they invaded the Wells Fargo Center. An organic style clash between Fletcher and Tortorella creates skepticism.
What sort of style clash? Tortorella may not mesh with the personnel Fletcher employs, for example, which is a critical element to a team in a middle of a retool or rebuild phase.
Fans will be intrigued to see what Tortorella has to bring to Philadelphia. If he can reignite the fire from 2019-2020, he’ll be the man of the hour in the city. All of Broad Street wants the roughneck, blue-collar energy Tortorella personifies to resonate with the players.
Already, there are many debates regarding the players and how they will jive with Tortorella. Atkinson is hard evidence of players who enjoy playing for Tortorella. Tortorella has high expectations for his athletes, which isn’t uncommon from other coaches, but his leadership and how he commands the locker room are.
Perhaps Tortorella is the culture shock the Flyers require. All the leadership moves from the last offseason didn’t amount to much. It’s time for a hard reset. Last season was some of the worst hockey to take place in Philadelphia history. You may not choose to die on the Tortorella hill, but at least the Flyers aren’t settling for a mild candidate from the NHL catalog.
(Photo Credit: Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)