Flyers Coaching Candidate: John Tortorella

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 11: Head coach John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets handles bench duties during the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 11, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 11: Head coach John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets handles bench duties during the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 11, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Some people are born to be hockey coaches. Fred Shero, Ken Hitchcock, and Scotty Bowman are some of the greatest coaches to be on the sidelines of the rink. Shero got the best of his players. Hitchcock is like the NHL’s Andy Reid who the players adore. Scotty Bowman found ways to win again and again with his teams.

Other people want to be hockey coaches and have moments of success at it. However, there is an inherent flaw that makes it not work out as well as one would have hoped.

Mike Keenan has coached eight different teams, with the Flyers tied with the Blackhawks for his longest tenures at four years.  He had a tendency to make front office upset. He was let go two years after taking the Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 86-87. In 93-94, he won the Stanley Cup as head coach of the Rangers and was immediately fired afterwards.  He also publicly  feuded with players like Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky.

Peter Laviolette and Alain Vigneault, likewise, are coaches of this mold. They put up good numbers, but every year do a little worse as relations with their players worsen. In the end, they lose the team and they lose their job.

John Tortorella is one of these coaches. He won a Stanley Cup in 2003-04 with the Lightning. He’s taken the NY Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets deep in the playoffs. He could be a great candidate to coach the Flyers.

Why He Should Be The Flyers Next Coach

Tortorella has a talent to bring a team back after having struggling years. He can push players to be their best and make deep playoff runs. He is also the coach of the USA National Team and knows many of the star players. He has shown over and over again that he can turn a team around quickly from bottom dwellers into legit contenders.

Why He Shouldn’t Be The Flyers Next Coach

Somewhere along the line, it all falls apart for him. Almost as soon as he turns the team around, his tough style turns his players off and the team loses interest in what he is offering them.

Most recently in Columbus, there were a lot of players who wanted him out. He immediately clashed with the then recently acquired forward Patrik Laine. Several of their top players wanted to be traded off or left in free agency; including Nick Foligno, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Seth Jones, David Savard, Alexander Wennberg, and Sergei Bobrovsky. What was a team on the rise quickly fell apart.

Related Story. Flyers Coaching Candidate: Rick Tocchet. light

Final Verdict

An emphatic no! While Tortorella is talented and a capable coach, the relationship he ends up having with his players is toxic. If the Flyers are in a rebuild, they can’t afford this right now. Whatever talents Torts has, he can’t bring it to Broad Street.