Candidates to be Flyers coach: Rick Tuchet

During May and possibly even June, we will be looking at potential candidates for the position of Head of Training at Flyers.

“We’re going to sit down and try to build that perfect candidate profile and really keep all options open, and maybe look at it from a slightly broader perspective,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said May 3. And we really dive into what we’re looking for. I’m sure there will be plenty of good candidates to talk to. ”

We started our series with Barry Trotz. Next, we take a look at Flyers Hall of Famer Rick Tocchet.

Why Tocchet would be a good fit

There are undeniable optics to hiring a Head of Training for Flyers. And bring Tocchet it will be good optics.

Fans have shown their frustration and fatigue this season by not attending. Attendance dwindled dangerously as the Flyers’ 25-46-11 season reached the finish line.

The hiring of Tocchet, a beloved former pilot who understands what success looks like in Philadelphia, will seemingly revitalize the fan base before the first disc is dropped.

As a player, Tocchet demonstrated a unique combination of toughness and goal-scoring ability for parts of his 11 seasons with the Flyers. He faced the Oilers Dynasty twice in the Stanley Cup Final as the Flyers lost to Edmonton during 1985 and 1987.

The 58-year-old has three Stanley Cup rings, all with rival Penguins — one as a player and two as an assistant coach.

However, his connection to Philadelphia is deep. Back in November of this season, he was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame alongside Paul Holmgren. During the pre-match party, the entire current Flyers team watched Tocchet’s speech from the bench.

“I’m sure the players will tell you, ‘There’s no better place to play,'” Tuchet said, pointing at the Flyers’ bench. “Even the players who came this year, it’s a great place to play.

“I don’t think there is a better fan base in the NHL. You guys support the team, you guys want to win as bad as everyone else.”

Tocchet understands the National Hockey League today and the importance of having players playing to their strengths. Players can relate to him as well, since he went through the wars in Philly.

On his last stop in the NHL, Tocchet did some good things in one of the most challenging NHL markets. With the Coyotes, Tocchet led them to 39 wins in 2018-19, currently the biggest franchise in the past 10 years.

In 2019-20 under Tocchet, Arizona expanded the field and won a series of playoffs over the Predators in the Western Conference bubble.

The Coyotes parted ways with Tocchet after finishing 24-26-6 in the short 2020-21 season.

Why isn’t Tocchet a good fit

Tucci does not have the experience of other candidates or bench chairs assigned to the league.

He coached the Lightning team for parts of two seasons from 2008 to 2010 and then led the Coyotes through four seasons. His nine games as a head coach in the NHL have been less than Dave Hakstol’s 12. For another comparison, Mike Yeo, the Flyers’ deputy this season, has 39 games after the season on his resume and three streak wins. After completing his temporary assignments, he was told that he would no longer be returning as the Flyers’ head coach.

So Tucci is not an experienced coach and will come to a stressful area with an organization that has missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Some other aspects to consider:

Tocchet is currently a studio commentator for the NHL on TNT and seems to really enjoy it. The signs are that he wants to train again, but you never know. He may not be in a hurry to take the next opening.

He is also a beloved former pilot. When a beloved former pilot takes on a management or training role at the corporation, they risk curtailing their legacy in the city.

One would think that a competitive man like Tocchet would not care about that and would accept the challenge.

After all, he didn’t get a ring in Philly but came close to it.

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcast | Spotify | Stitcher | Art 19 | Youtube

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: