As the Flyers coaching search progressed, it became clear that experience and a track record for success mattered. It shows with the new bench boss sure to deliver accountability.
The Flyers have hired John Tortorella as the 23rd head coach in franchise history. An official announcement is expected in the next 24 hours. According to Kevin Weekes of ESPN and NHL Network, it is a four-year deal worth approximately $4 million per year.
Tortorella, 63, joins the Flyers after previous coaching stops with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning. He ranks 14th all-time in coaching wins with 673 and has a career 673-541-37-132 record behind the bench in 19 seasons. He also ranks second all-time in coaching wins among U.S.-born coaches, trailing only Peter Laviolette, who has 717.
Tortorella’s coaching career at the NHL level began in the 1999-2000 season for four games with the New York Rangers. The next season, he was hired midseason by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He served as head coach for the Lightning for the next six seasons, including the 2003-04 season where the Lightning won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Tortorella took some time off following his dismissal at the end of the 2007-08 season. In February 2009, he took over as the head coach of the New York Rangers, where he would spend the next four full seasons. He was fired after the 2012-13 season.
In 2013-14, Tortorella coached the Vancouver Canucks. A tumultuous season ended with a 36-35-11 record and fifth place finish in the division, and including an incident where Tortorella went down the hallway of the visiting locker room to confront Bob Hartley, then coach of the Calgary Flames. Tortorella was fired at the conclusion of the season.
After taking the 2014-15 season off from coaching, Tortorella returned behind the bench of the Columbus Blue Jackets as a mid-season hire on October 21, 2015. Tortorella finished the 2015-16 season and coached the next five full seasons in Columbus. Following the 2020-21 season, where Columbus finished seventh in the East Division with an 1-26-12 record, Tortorella and the Blue Jackets mutually parted ways as his contract expired.
In between coaching, Tortorella has worked as a television analyst for both TSN and most recently ESPN.