The Philadelphia Flyers and John Tortorella agreed to a contract Thursday, and it will be officially announced Friday, a source confirmed.
Kevin Weekes of ESPN reported that the contract was “in the neighborhood” of four years and $4 million per season. That means the Flyers will be paying about $9 million for their head coach in 2022-23, including $5 million for Alain Vigneault, who was fired early last season with almost three years left on his contract.
Hey, Comcast has deep pockets.
The almost-64-year-old Tortorella has a difficult task as he will try to turn around a team that went 25-46-11 (61 points) last season. Granted, the Flyers had lots of key injuries to players like Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, and Kevin Hayes. But even with good health, the Philadelphia Flyers would have only been good enough to battle for the last wild-card spot.
So GM Chuck Fletcher has lots of work to do and doesn’t have much cap space.
Tortorella, who will be introduced in a Zoom call with reporters Friday, has done well after taking over a new team, but it has generally taken him a few years to produce very good results.
In his second full season with Tampa Bay in 2002-03, the Bolts went 36-25-16 and finished first in the Southeast Division. The Lighting won the Cup in Tortorella’s third full season.
In his third full season with the New York Rangers, the Blueshirts went 51-24-7, won the Atlantic Division and lost in the conference finals to New Jersey.
The Blue Jackets compiled a 50-24-8 record in Tortorella’s second year in Columbus, but lost in the opening playoff round.
Before taking the Columbus job, Tortorella spent one uneventful year in Vancouver — its 36-35-11 record was its worst in 14 years, and the Canucks had the lowest, full-season goal output in their four-plus decade existence — and was fired.