Flyers hire assistant coach to run PK; Yeo takes job with different club


John Tortorella is back with his old PK man.

The Flyers hired Brad Shaw to fill one of their vacant assistant coaching roles. Shaw, 58, worked on Tortorella's Blue Jackets staff for five seasons.

The Flyers' hiring of Shaw was announced Friday in a press release by the Canucks. Shaw was an assistant coach for Vancouver last season. In related news, the Canucks hired former Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo as an assistant coach.

The Flyers haven't yet named an assistant coach to oversee their power play and forwards. Assistant coach Darryl Williams and goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh are staying on the club's staff. More on all of that here.

Shaw, a former defenseman who played 377 games in the NHL, will run the Flyers' penalty kill unit and blueliners. The club's PK has ranked last in the NHL over the last two seasons combined at 74.6 percent.

During Shaw's time in Columbus from the 2016-17 to 2020-21 seasons, the Blue Jackets were tied for the league's 12th-best penalty kill at 80.9 percent. In 2018-19, Columbus finished in a three-way tie for the league's top-ranked PK at 85 percent. 

Over Shaw's tenure, the Blue Jackets got 12 shorthanded goals from Cam Atkinson, tied with Brad Marchand and Sebastian Aho for the NHL's most during that span.

"PK, you're going balls to the wall," Atkinson said Jan. 27 last season, his first with the Flyers. "For me, I just trust my instincts. I'm a little bit more aggressive and 95 percent of the time it works for me.

"I think we've been more successful when we've been more aggressive."

In 2019-20, Yeo had the Flyers' PK at 11th in the league at 81.8 percent. It was his first season on the club's staff as an assistant coach. Then, the PK dipped precipitously. The Flyers lacked personnel in 2020-21. Last season, injuries to Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes and Nate Thompson did damage to their penalty kill.

Yeo had to take over bench boss duties Dec. 6 last season when the Flyers fired Alain Vigneault. He went 17-36-7 in a nightmarish spot.

"We dealt Mike a really tough hand," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said May 3. "He's a good coach, I thought he did a really good job under the circumstances. He kept our players competing and playing hard until the end."

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