Flyers get tougher, hire John Tortorella as head coach

john tortorella flyers
Aug 11, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella gestures as he speaks to his players in game one of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs against Tampa Bay LIghtning at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The reports were all leading up to this moment. John Tortorella is now back behind an NHL bench as the Philadelphia Flyers give him a four-year deal. This is the fifth team he will be behind the bench for as he becomes the Flyers 23rd head coach.

Per Kevin Weekes, the salary is in the neighborhood of $4 million per season. The team is expected to make the announcement official on Friday.

John Tortorella new Flyers head coach

The soon to be 64 year-old affectionately know as Torts is 14th all-time winningest coach in NHL history. In 1383 games he has a record of 673-541-37-132. His postseason record is 56-64 winning a Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and two Jack Adams Awards along the way (2004, 2017).

His last stop was with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Torts spent six seasons there before stepping down at the end of the 2020-21 season as the franchise all-time leader in coaching wins with 227.

“Great coach. Great person,” Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins said. “I’m sad that I’m not going to have an opportunity to work with him. He taught me a lot. He was the guy who settled me down and gave me a chance to understand the league.”

Tortorella now replaces interim head coach Mike Yeo, who stepped in after the Flyers fired Alain Vigneault. A slight twist of fate as it was AV who replaced Torts with the New York Rangers in 2013-14.

Almost from the beginning, Torts was considered the frontrunner to land the position. He’s a fiery coach known to get into some heated moments with the media and his players. But he is also widely considered one of the fairest coaches in the business and would bring instant accountability to that locker room.