Tis the season for teams looking for new head coaches. There are vacancies within the Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, Calgary Flames, and Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers were in this position a year ago before they hired John Tortorella.
So while Philadelphia is no longer in need of a head coach, there is a member on the coaching staff whose name has surfaced as a potential candidate. And that is Brad Shaw.
Shaw was hired as an assistant coach and is primarily in charge of the Flyers’ defense and penalty kill, otherwise knows as a power kill. He had previous experience with Tortorella, having served as an assistant coach with him in Columbus as well. They were together from 2016-2021 before both were let go.
Shaw was then an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks for a season before Tortorella brought him onto the Flyers staff this past season.
"“I think he’s going to do great stuff for our young defense and trying to develop some of these kids, see if they can play in the league and see if they can progress,” Tortorella said of Shaw. “He has great communication skills, he’s a veteran guy, he’s played the position in the league.”"
The Flyers finished the year with the 26th-ranked penalty kill. But they did finish fourth with 11 shorthanded goals this season. Travis Konecny, playing on the PK for the first time, and Scott Laughton led the way with three shorthanded goals apiece.
According to Elliotte Friedman, Shaw could be a name surfacing in interviews with the Ducks. While he didn’t link Shaw directly to the team in terms of an absolute interview, he did say that a few sources talked about Shaw as someone “not to sleep on” in terms of head coaching positions. On the most recent episode, Friedman did walk things back a bit to say that he doesn’t believe the Ducks have Shaw on their interview list at this time.
Lisa Dillman of the OC Register also mentioned Shaw’s name as someone whom the the Ducks could be interested in. There is a small tie between Shaw and the Ducks GM, Pat Verbeek. The two played together back on the Hartford Whalers.
Shaw had a chance to be behind the bench as the acting head coach this season as Tortorella gave all of his assistants a chance to do so. Tortorella has spoken at length about wanting to give said assistants a chance to learn and grow.
"“I think I have a responsibility to my coaching staff and help them develop. I think we’re all trying to develop, just like the players are. I think in these type of situations,” Tortorella said after Shaw was the coach for the Ottawa Senators game at the end of March.“It gives them a chance to develop and see the bench at that spectrum. I think it’s my responsibility. And I do think players need a different voice. I’m tried of hearing myself, I can imagine how they feel. So we’re gonna go about it that way and see where we go.”"
At this time, there doesn’t seem to be a true danger of the Flyers losing Shaw to one of the open head coaching spots. But he has certainly been on the radar for a while it sounds like.