PHILADELPHIA — John Tortorella may be the only NHL head coach to have a special compilation of his highlights.
There are censored versions of his tirades. Also uncensored versions. He is angry with journalists or his players. There is a six minute video of John Tortorella’s Angry Moments that you can click on after watching 10 minutes of his funniest moments.
The Philadelphia Flyers are guaranteed to go into next season with very little chance of winning the Stanley Cup. Why look at them? Because with Tortorella as head coach, the Flyers never get bored.
Tortorella is more than a Soundbite machine, however: he knows how to turn recovery teams into winners. The Flyers, as they are currently being built, are not ready to win.
The one nicknamed “Torts” promises they will be soon.
“I’m going to be tough on this team from the start,” Tortorella said on Friday. It’s going to be a tough camp with lots of skating. You will be informed over the summer on how we will be tackling this. »
Tortorella, who will celebrate his 64th birthday next week, became the Flyers’ new head coach after the team interviewed eight candidates.
General manager Chuck Fletcher wanted a “respected and experienced head coach” with “a long track record”. He settled with Tortorella for four years. The Flyers have not reached the Stanley Cup Finals since 2010 and have not won the coveted trophy since victories in 1974 and 1975.
“It doesn’t take long for the players to understand me,” said Tortorella.
He is known for his temperament and sophisticated style. Over the years, Tortorella has had arguments with his share of players. He said he’s softened his style and traditional tactics have been eliminated from the NHL. But change only comes at a certain point.
“I want the team to play hard,” he said. I think we need to come forward and be tougher. As soon as we get off the bus. As soon as we enter the arena. I want the other teams to think they have their hands full tonight. »
The Columbus Blue Jackets had only made the playoffs twice in their 15-year history when Tortorella took over the team. They made the playoffs for the next four seasons.
Tortorella also reached the Eastern Conference Finals with the New York Rangers in 2012 and reached two more seasons in the playoffs before being replaced by Alain Vigneault in 2013.
Before the Tampa Bay Lightning became a modern dynasty, they only made the playoffs once in their first 10 seasons. Tortorella was named head coach in 2001 and led the team to the 2003 Eastern Semifinals before winning the 2004 Stanley Cup with the Lightning.
Tortorella, who worked for the ESPN network last season, dismissed criticism that his style would quickly wear teams down. He went 673-541-37-132 in nearly 20 seasons.
“I kind of get put in a box,” he said. I’m a tough coach but I will always be fair to these guys and they will be completely honest with me. »