The Flyers’ decision to make John Tortorella the franchise’s next head coach has one of Tortorella’s former players sending prayers to Philadelphia.
Brandon Dubinsky — who played for Tortorella on both the Rangers and Blue Jackets for four seasons apiece — took to Twitter to take a shot at his former coach.
“🙏 for the @NHLFlyers players!,” Dubinsky tweetedas reports of Tortorella’s Philadelphia hiring went around on Thursday night.
It’s not the first time that Dubinsky has expressed his apparent displeasure with Tortorella. In 2012, the 13-year NHL veteran told The Athletic that the pair’s relationship was “a sh-t show.”
“It wasn’t a good year,” Dubinsky said, referencing the 2011-12 season with the Rangers. “We weren’t getting along. I didn’t agree with the decisions he was making for me, so for me, Columbus was a fresh start. I was energized and excited. I was back to playing the way I knew how to play.”
The 63-year-old Tortorella has established himself as a polarizing figure throughout his 19-year head coaching career. His 673 career wins make him the 14th most-winningest coach in NHL history. In five seasons at the helm of the Rangers, Tortorella steered the Blueshirts to four playoff appearances.
A known fiery personality, Tortorella has a tendency to rub people the wrong way, often clashing with the media and even his own players, like Dubinsky.
While it’s not yet clear what the consensus opinion on the hire is amongst Flyers’ players, winger Cam Atkinson — who played under Tortorella in Columbus — went out of his way to praise the coach in April.
“I think it all starts with practice,” said Atkinson. “You practice how you play. Especially when I turned pro, I learned that from John Tortorella. He was great in that aspect. … I think going into next year, we need to find a way to have some more grit, some more jam, more ‘F you’ to our game, on both sides of the puck, in our crease, defending our goalie and in their crease.”