The Philadelphia Flyers have agreed a 4-year deal with John Tortorella to be their head coach, ESPN NHL analyst Kevin Weekes reported Thursday.
Tortorella recently coached the Columbus Blue Jackets for six seasons before the team announced after the 2020-21 season that he would not be returning.
Under Tortorella, the Blue Jackets finished with a record of 227-166-54—making him the winning coach in franchise history—and qualified for the playoffs in four of his six seasons. They failed to advance after the first round every time except in 2019, when top seed Columbus swept Tampa Bay in a surprise opening round.
Tortorella, 63, also coached the Lightning team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004, the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks. He was twice named Jack Adams Award winner as the best coach in the NHL.
The Flyers fired coach Alain Vigneault on December 6, 2021, in the midst of an 8-11-4 start to a season that included eight straight games. Mike Yu was named interim coach, going 17-36-7 behind the bench as Philadelphia failed to make the postseason for the second consecutive season.
After the season, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced that Yu would not return as the team’s head coach in 2022-23.
The Flyers have been among the most disappointing teams in the NHL this season. Fletcher added several veteran players off last season, including defender Ryan Ellis, who was limited to just four games due to injury. GM has talked about an “aggressive retool” this off-season, which now includes a new coach at Tortorella.
ESPN’s Greg Wachinsky contributed to this report.