The Philadelphia Flyers have narrowed down their list of head coaching candidates, sources tell Daily Faceoff. The finalists are believed to include Barry Trotz and John Tortorella, two benches bosses with nearly 3,500 NHL games of experience between them, each with a Stanley Cup on their resume.
The Flyers have been nothing if not thorough in searching for a full-time replacement for Alain Vigneault, who was fired on Dec. 7, 2021 just 22 games into last season. According to sources, the Flyers interviewed a list of candidates including but not limited to Mike Vellucci, Jim Montgomery, Rick Tocchet, Jeff Blashill and David Quinn. The Flyers were also believed to have engaged in at least a conversation with recently-departed Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy later last week, though it was unclear whether that constituted an ‘interview’ or not. Cassidy is in the mix for other head coaching opportunities.
The Flyers recently notified unsuccessful candidates that they would not be advancing to the next round in the process. Tortorella, 63, was believed to have completed his second interview on Thursday in Philadelphia. He is the second-winningest American-born coach in NHL history, behind former Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
Trotz, 59, has received reported expressions of interest for four other head coaching vacancies. His discernment process reportedly includes family considerations and potential future front office opportunities. Trotz could command as much as $6 million per year in salary, which would be the second-highest ever for an NHL coach in average annual value only to former Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock.
There is no timetable for the Flyers’ decision, though they’d like to make a splash with a big name to help regenerate interest in the Philadelphia market. The NHL Draft is less than a month away on July 7 in Montreal and free agency will soon follow on July 13.