May 24, 2022
The Flyers may not be in much of a rush to name their next head coach. Whether that's a good or bad thing right now is your call.
An initial report had the Flyers interviewing Barry Trotz on Friday, but that didn't happen. However, a meeting with Trotz will happen this week, Sportsnet's Jeff Marek confirmed on Saturday night's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
The 59-year old bench boss became the most coveted coaching candidate on the market after he was shockingly fired by the New York Islanders following a down season.
He's believed to be near, if not at the top of the Flyers' list, but has already been interviewed by his hometown Winnipeg Jets and is also reportedly attracting interest from the Vegas Golden Knights and the Detroit Red Wings.
Trotz has found success at every stop he's been to, helping build the Nashville Predators into a respected franchise through their first 15 years, leading the Washington Capitals to their first Stanley Cup in 2018, then turning the Islanders into defensive stalwart that made it to back-to-back conference finals.
The Flyers, Marek said on the broadcast, want to talk to Trotz obviously because of his impressive resume, but also because of his knowledge of the Metropolitan Division from the past eight seasons in Washington and Long Island.
There might not be any immediate decisions though, even if it could result in the Flyers ultimately losing out on Trotz or another candidate during their process.
Said Marek on Saturday: "One thing to keep in mind though with the Philadelphia Flyers coaching search: I don't get the sense that the Philadelphia Flyers are in any hurry here to name a coach. They want to take their time, they want to be thorough, even if that means they miss a candidate along the way."
That train of thought does lineup with what GM Chuck Fletcher said in his end-of-season press conference, where he explained that the front office wants to be thorough in building their "ideal candidate profile." Although that probably doesn't sound too promising to fans when a big name like Trotz is out there.
"I think we are aware of the calendar," Fletcher said earlier this month. "But the important thing is to get the right coach. Get the right fit and the right chemistry. As long as it takes is what we will take."
Other names that have been thrown around as potential candidates for the Flyers include John Tortorella (there was some noise about him late Monday), Jim Montgomery, Rick Tocchet, Claude Julien and Paul Maurice.
Trotz has also been rumored to have an interest in management and his next contract, wherever he signs with, could include an eventual transition into the front office.
The picture will likely become clearer later this week after the Flyers have talked to Trotz, especially if he chooses his next spot following that conversation.
Whoever becomes the Flyers' next coach will be adopting a team that, as it's constructed right now, is short on speed, skill and is in desperate need of identity and structure.
We'll see what comes next.
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