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Flyers’ GM states qualifications for new coach; guess who fits best?



Barry Trotz, Philadelphia Flyers
Barry Trotz is in demand as several teams are courting him, including the Philadelphia Flyers. Photo via New York Islanders Twitter account.

Barry Trotz, who is being wooed by the Philadelphia Flyers and many other teams, may be in the area Friday to talk with the Orange and Black’s management about the coaching job.

Or maybe it will be be over the weekend, or perhaps next week.

An NHL source said it will be soon, but didn’t know the date.

Chuck Fletcher, the Flyers’ general manager whose job depends on the success of the coach he hires, is mum on the subject.

Fletcher, whose injury-ravaged team had the second-worst record in franchise history last season, would not comment on Trotz or any other person in the running.

“We expect to interview several high-quality candidates over the coming days and weeks,” he told Philly Hockey Now. “Our goal is to find the right candidate for the job based on chemistry, fit, and proven track record of success.”

Trotz, 59, checks all the boxes, but there are no guarantees he wants to try to turn around a team that isn’t close to being a Stanley Cup contender. He has already interviewed for the job in Winnipeg, his native city, and Vegas is reportedly courting him.

The list of teams that want Trotz is long. And why not? He is the third-winningest coach in NHL history. He won a Stanley Cup with Washington, built Nashville from an expansion team to a Western Conference contender, and transformed the Islanders from pretenders to contenders,  taking New York to the Eastern Conference finals in consecutive seasons.

“Our process will be confidential, and therefore we won’t be releasing any names or details of the candidates we wish to interview,” Fletcher said.

Long list

Fair enough. But that won’t stop us from speculating. Besides Trotz, the Flyers’ wish list should include John Tortorella, Rick Tocchet, Joel Quenneville (if the NHL allows him to return), David Quinn, Jim Montgomery, Derek Lalonde, Mike Babcock, Claude Julien, and Paul Maurice.

Lalonde is an assistant with two-time defending champion Tampa, and his stock is rising. Montgomery, a former Flyer, is an assistant with St. Louis. Their teams are still involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Flyers will no doubt confer with some players who played for these coaches, such as Cam Atkinson with Tortorella in Columbus, and Ryan Ellis with Trotz in Nashville.

An out-of-the-box candidate: Rikard Gronborg, who has had success coaching in Switzerland.

But the best candidate is, by far, Trotz, a two-time coach-of-the-year who would bring much-needed defensive structure to the Philadelphia Flyers.

My guess is Trotz goes to Winnipeg to be close to his elderly father, but the fact he has agreed to talk with the Flyers gives them some encouragement.

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Gregg M

Julien, Babcock, Maurice and Torts are all retreads that they should avoid. Would avoid Tocchet as well since there is a contingent of fans that doesn’t want another Flyers connection hire.
Trotz, Quenneville at the top of my list, followed by Lalonde and Montgomery, even though there is the previous connection with Montgomery with the short time he played here.


Agree with your assessment of those coaches for the most part. I think Babcock can still coach in the present era but he is too volatile. Tortorella would wear thin quickly plus his post-season record is not encouraging. Of the four you mentioned, Maurice may be adaptable enough to bring an acceptable voice to coaching in the current game. Agree Tocchet is not the coach for this team. Quenneville, if permitted back by the League, would not be hired by the corporation because of the issue that is attached to him. I like Trotz, but I don’t see him wanting to come here. It may be time to bring in an innovative coach who can bring a completely new approach for the present era and who can develop young players, similar to when the Flyers hired Mike Keenan in the 80s. Whomever they hire, I think they need to commit to someone for a longer term and the players must be made to understand they will not be permitted to turn off his voice. The revolving door of coaches needs to end.


Derek Lalonde is the perfect match in former playing experience, AHL experience, WINNING championships in the NHL, and being part of the Stevie Y/Cooper pedigree team.

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