Flyers hire John Torchetti as assistant coach, will keep Mike Yeo through 2021-22 season

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Flyers hire an assistant coach, commit to Yeo for rest of season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers have been down an assistant coach since Dec. 6, when they fired Michel Therrien along with head coach Alain Vigneault.

On Tuesday, the Flyers added John Torchetti as an assistant coach for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. As expected, given the club's circumstances, Mike Yeo will get his shot to see the rest of this season through as interim head coach.

The embattled Flyers are not in position to be letting go more staff midseason. They're 13-21-8, have lost 12 straight games (0-9-3) and are in last place of the Metropolitan Division. They need to push through this second straight letdown season and evaluate their offseason decisions as they go. From a player personnel standpoint, those decisions will start around the March 21 trade deadline.

Prior to the hiring of Torchetti, player development coach Nick Schultz had been filling in behind the bench and in practice. He will continue to serve on the coaching staff alongside assistant Darryl Williams and goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh.

Torchetti, 57, has ties to general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr. He worked in the Wild organization under Fletcher and Flahr when the two were in Minnesota. Torchetti coached the Wild's AHL affiliate and also took Fletcher's 2015-16 Minnesota team to the playoffs in 27 games of interim duties. That season, Fletcher fired Yeo 55 games into his fifth year as head coach of the Wild.

Torchetti was last with the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats in 2019-20. He gave the Flyers a nice tip on their 2020 fifth-round pick Elliot Desnoyers, who has developed into one of their better prospects.

Before his time in Minnesota, Torchetti was also an interim head coach with the Panthers and Kings. He has served as an NHL assistant coach for the Lightning, Panthers, Kings, Blackhawks, Thrashers and Red Wings.

He was an assistant with Chicago when it defeated the Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

Torchetti's name has been cleared from any potential allegations in the sexual abuse scandal during the Blackhawks' Cup run that season. Kyle Beach, a prospect in Chicago's organization at the time, alleged that he was sexually assaulted by former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich. In a lawsuit against the team, Beach claimed that the Blackhawks failed to act after he had made them aware of the alleged assault during May 2010.

Beach and the organization reached a settlement last December. When Beach revealed his identity last October in an interview on TSN, he thanked Torchetti for supporting him.

The Flyers entered Tuesday with a 5-11-4 mark under Yeo, who has faced a tall order ever since taking over the reins. The losses have coincided with injuries and illness.

A 3-1 defeat Monday night to the Stars saw the Flyers match their worst winless skid in franchise history.

"The last thing that I want to do is sit here and say it's OK that we lost a hockey game, that's for sure," Yeo said. "None of us accept this. But there is a certain reality to it, too. We've got eight guys out of the lineup and obviously we're feeling the effects of that."

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