The Philadelphia Flyers are on the lookout for a coach and have already been linked to some big names. Barry Trotz and John Tortorella have reportedly already had their interviews with the club, though it does not appear as though the team is in any rush to make a final decision. Today, on the 32 Thoughts podcast, hosts Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman linked another few names to the Flyers, including recently eliminated Calgary Flames associate coach Kirk Muller, and Pittsburgh Penguins assistant Mike Vellucci.
Muller, according to Friedman, will also draw interest from the Winnipeg Jets now that the Flames are out of the playoffs. The 56-year-old last served as a head coach with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2014 and has been an associate in both Montreal and Calgary. Muller obviously also brings a long successful history as a player, including a Stanley Cup championship in 1993.
Vellucci meanwhile is an interesting name, given he actually doesn’t have much experience at the NHL level but has been around the hockey world for decades. The 55-year-old coach (who played two games in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers) won a Calder Cup as head coach of the Charlotte Checkers in 2019 after a long stint as general manager and head coach of the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. Friedman expects Vellucci to draw interest from more than just Philadelphia, though has already interviewed with the Flyers.
The other name brought up by Marek was St. Louis Blues assistant Jim Montgomery, who Friedman confirmed would be of interest, but noted is still working. Montgomery, who last served as a head coach with the Dallas Stars, was fired in 2020 for unprofessional conduct–a decision he admitted was the “appropriate call” at the time while revealing his battle with alcoholism. After getting help, Montgomery was back behind an NHL bench with the Blues in 2020-21 and is currently helping them try to come back against the Colorado Avalanche in the second round.