Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers have an important offseason, which just got even more hectic. They can add finding a new head coach to the list of things they have to do in an attempt to change the fortunes of the team next season. Mike Yeo was told that he would not remain the head coach of the Flyers, but Fletcher would love to keep him around in some role with the team.
Yeo got the interim tag after 22 games when Alain Vigneault went 8-10-4 and was fired. Yeo did no better, but it also wasn’t easy on him thrown in that situation with a banged up team. “He kept our players competing and playing hard to the end,” Fletcher said. But Yeo’s record was 17-36-7. The Flyers are going to need a coach who is tough but fair and creates an identity for the team that makes it tough on the opposing teams every game.
The Flyers’ roster has the skill set, it’s just a matter of putting it all together under the right leadership. That is where the next head coach comes in. As we’ve seen over the years and especially in 2021-22, a new voice behind the bench can change everything. From work ethic, to positioning, line combinations, and player utilization, a team can be turned around in a season or less. So, I present to you the argument that Rick Tocchet is the man for the job in Philadelphia.
Tocchet is Loved in Philadelphia
Who wouldn’t want to see Tocchet back in Philadelphia? He’s been itching to get back into the coaching game and has stated that numerous times on TNT where he’s currently a panelist. His ties to Philadelphia and the Flyers run deep, as he is a beloved player for what he was able to accomplish as a member of the team.
Tocchet was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and found his way onto the team a season later. In his rookie season, he performed well and immediately showed what type of player he was going to be — a physical one. That was the identity of the Flyers and he fit that to a tee.
The Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Final and lost in 1985 and 1987, two of Tocchet’s first three seasons on the team. The second run to the Cup was where he really broke out offensively, scoring 11 goals and recording 21 points in 26 games.