John Tortorella Says Flyers Have Work to Do After Being Hired as Head Coach

Erin WalshJune 17, 2022

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 04: Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella during training camping held at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on January 4, 2021. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

John Tortorella was named the 23rd head coach in Philadelphia Flyers history this week, and he knows he has to do a lot of work to get the team back to a place where it can contend for a Stanley Cup.

"I'm not gonna sit here and say that we're going to be Stanley Cup contenders next year," Tortorella told reporters. "Having said that, I know there's some work to do. That's what I want to do."

Sam Carchidi @BroadStBull

Torts is very animated and confident as he talks. Says Flyers will "attack" things, and that he doesn't what to call the season a rebuild or a retool or any other handle. "You're not going to trap me." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flyers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Flyers</a>

Sam Carchidi @BroadStBull

Torts says he needs to see the players in practice and talk to them before he knows how to coach them. "I coach hard and these guys will know where they stand with me each and every day." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flyers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Flyers</a>

Charlie O'Connor @charlieo_conn

Tortorella: I think coaches get tunnel vision sometimes. And listen, I'm one of them. But sometimes, you have to stop for a second and listen (to the players). We have to make that adjustment. Having said that, there's a fine line there. You can't allow it to run amuck.

Bob Rotruck @BobRotruck

Fletcher on Tortorella: "Players will respond if you're demanding if they know they care about you."

The 2021-22 campaign was disappointing for the Flyers based on their roster, including Carter Hart, Cam Atkinson, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, James van Riemsdyk and Joel Farabee.

Philadelphia traded its longtime captain, seven-time All-Star Claude Giroux, to the Florida Panthers in part because of its lack of success.

The Flyers fired former head coach Alain Vigneault last December following an 8-10-4 start. Mike Yeo served as the team's interim head coach and led the team to a 25-46-11 last-place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

With the team missing the postseason for the second consecutive year, the Flyers announced Yeo would not return as head coach.

Tortorella should be able to get more out of Philadelphia's current roster in 2022-23, and he called the Flyers the "right fit" for his coaching comeback, per ESPN. However, it'll be a difficult task getting the team ready to compete with the likes of the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference.

The 63-year-old most recently served as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2015-21, going 227-166-54 and becoming the winningest coach in franchise history. He led the team to the playoffs four times in his six seasons, though it only advanced past the first round once.

Tortorella also coached the Lightning for seven seasons from 2000-08, leading the team to a Stanley Cup title in 2004, and has also coached the Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He most recently served as an NHL analyst for ESPN.