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Flyers hire John Tortorella as next head coach

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John Tortorella will be back behind an NHL bench near you.

Following up on his report from earlier in the week, ESPN analyst and NHL insider Kevin Weekes confirmed on Thursday that Torts will become the next head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers confirmed the hiring on Friday.

Weekes, who announced on Twitter late Tuesday night that the Flyers made an offer to Tortorella to become their next head coach, added that the deal should come in around four years at $4 million per season.

Tortorella has spent the past year working as an NHL analyst for ESPN, last coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2020-21 season, when he failed to take them to the playoffs.

The 63-year-old has coached 1,383 NHL games, holding a record of 673-541-132 spanning over 20 seasons and four different teams. He won the Stanley Cup in 2004 at the helm of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

John Tortorella is reportedly set to ink a four-year deal to become the next head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Getty)
John Tortorella is reportedly set to ink a four-year deal to become the next head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Getty)

After missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons, the Flyers are in need of the kind of jolt that Tortorella has proven he can provide. Philadelphia ended the 2021-22 season with a 25-46-11 record and 61 points, good for last place in the Metropolitan Division and 29th in the league.

The Flyers scored only 2.56 goals per game, the second-worst mark in the NHL, and allowed the fourth-most goals per game with 3.59. The team's top scorer was forward Travis Konecny, who registered 16 goals and 32 assists for 52 points in 79 games.

Philadelphia fired bench boss Alain Vigneault in December, with Mike Yeo taking over on an interim basis.

While he may have been out of the league, Tortorella still made headlines with his punditry on ESPN, notably suggesting that Edmonton Oilers' captain Connor McDavid has to change his game if he wants to succeed in the playoffs. He was also critical of young Anaheim Ducks star Trevor Zegras after he wowed the hockey world with a spectacular assist in December.

However controversial his takes on TV are, the Flyers have their man and will hope that he can lead them back to the playoffs and relevance in a loaded division.

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