Ex-Rangers coach John Tortorella set to run Flyers’ bench


After a last place season, Mike Yeo is out and John Tortorella is in as Philadelphia Flyers head coach, according to multiple reports.

Tortorella most recently coached the Columbus Blue Jackets for six seasons before being relieved of his duties after the 2020-21 season.

Tortorella coached himself into the winningest record in franchise history for the Blue Jackets, a solid 227-166-54. Columbus qualified for the playoffs four of the six years Tortorella was head coach but only escaped the first round once, sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The firebrand bench boss spent the past season as an analyst for ESPN.

The 63-year-old has coached multiple teams including Tampa Bay, who he won the Stanley Cup with in 2004, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Rangers. He has won the Jack Adams Award twice for best head coach.

Tortorella hasn’t been to a Stanley Cup Final since his 2004 win with the Lightning.

John Tortorella appears to be headed to the Flyers, the next stop in his Atlantic Division tour.
Anthony J. Causi

In his five seasons with the Rangers, Tortorella compiled 171 wins and only made it as far as the semifinals in the 2011-2012 season. He famously clashed with media and occasionally his own players during his time on Broadway.

Some in the Flyers locker room see this as a positive though. Winger Cam Atkinson played under Tortorella in Columbus and thinks the Flyers were “a pretty soft team” who could do with some toughening up.

“I think it all starts with practice. You practice how you play,” Atkinson said in April. “Especially when I turned pro, I learned that from John Tortorella. He was great in that aspect… I think going into next year, we need to find a way to have some more grit, some more jam, more ‘F you” to our game, on both sides of the puck, in our crease, defending our goalie and in their crease.”

Tortorella is 673-541-37-132 over almost 20 seasons, but only 56-64 in the playoffs with six first-round exits. He will attempt to revive his and the Flyer’s playoff career with a new, tough approach next season.

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