As mid-June approaches, the hockey world is still in a holding pattern. A pattern that revolves around the vacant head coaching jobs of many teams in the NHL.
Just like free agency & trade deadline, sometimes a big name head coaching candidate will cause a stall in the market. Which, with Barry Trotz available, seems to be just the case.
This holding pattern has allowed the Flyers to conduct an extensive search for their next head coach. While also saying in the running for Barry Trotz.
Once we know the fate of where Barry Trotz will be coaching next season, the search for the Flyers will pick up quickly. However, Trotz could just choose Philadelphia & the search would be over.
Barry Trotz maybe at the top of the Flyers list, but isn’t the only candidate still in the Flyers head coaching search.
On Friday’s episode of 32-Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman gave an update on the Flyers head coaching search. Mentioning a few key details and the possibility that the Flyers could be down to their final five.
John Tortorella is expected to get a 2nd interview. Tortorella, who is a currently an analysis with ESPN, would bring “a high level of accountability” to the room. Something that Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said would be one of his key attributes in his decision.
Also, as reported by Anthony SanFilippo last week, Tortorella actually wants the job in Philadelphia and has made that interest known to the Flyers.
Bruce Cassidy, who was fired on Monday by the Boston Bruins, was interviewed quickly thereafter by the Flyers. Cassidy is a proven winner (245-108-46). Leading the Bruins to the playoffs in all 6-seasons as head coach.
Cassidy, who wasn’t available at the beginning of the Flyers search, now adds another top coaching candidate to the Flyers search.
Rick Tocchet will also get a 2nd interview. Tocchet, who is apart of the TNT studio team, would be a welcomed coach in Philadelphia. The place where Tocchet played 11-seasons in the NHL.
Tocchet would also go a long way with reconnecting the fans whose interest has been less in favor over the past few years.
Mike Vellucci has a strong possibility to get a 2nd interview. Vellucci, who is an assistant with the Penguins, is an under the radar candidate who has won at every level coached at. Including winning the Calder Cup, AHL’s Stanley Cup, in 2019.
Friedman went on to say that Vellucci’s 1st interview went “extremely well”. Which is the reason why Vellucci has a strong possibility for a 2nd interview.
Elliotte Friedman also had some telling news on a coach that did not get an interview.
Former Flyer Jim Montgomery, who many believed would have been a top candidate, never got a 1st interview with the Flyers. Montgomery is former Flyers head coach Craig Berube’s right hand man in St Louis.
So, could this be the final five? Who would you like to see behind the Flyers bench?
Barry Trotz – John Tortorella – Bruce Cassidy – Rick Tocchet – Mike Vellucci
PHOTO CREDIT: Mitchell Leff – Getty Images