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