Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella has never been shy to share his opinion, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the well-travelled NHL bench boss rattled the cage in his new home before a game was even played.
Hired by Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher in an effort to bring structure to a team that lacked any semblance of it last season, the oft-abrasive Tortorella dropped a bombshell to NHL Network Radio earlier this week about the leadership in the Flyers' locker room.
“As far as the room, I have major concerns about the room,” he said. “You can't get squat done on the ice until you get your room straightened out, and I think we have a little bit of work to do there."
#Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella will be on @SiriusXMNHL today at 5pm ET to talk about the upcoming season, Carter Hart, and locker room culture.
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— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) September 7, 2022
Tortorella also expressed concerns about accountability within the club, which finished dead last in the Metropolitan Division last year with just 25 wins and 61 points. Those poor numbers were good for fourth-last in the league, and ultimately helped the club land the fifth-overall pick at the 2022 draft.
Despite the Flyers' turn for the worse, they decided against moving into a full teardown, instead aggressively pursuing major acquisitions like Tony DeAngelo, who they paid a hefty sum for both in assets and in dollar figures.
That indecisiveness has left the franchise in an awkward position, with little sense of direction and a lack of star talent on the roster. Not to mention, the club continues to struggle with answers between the pipes, as Carter Hart has become another name in a long list of Flyers goalies that have failed to serve as their answer in net.
Tortorella’s history of elevating teams of that ilk, notably several Columbus Blue Jackets squads in the late 2010s, appeared to be a strong fit heading into the season, though his latest comments have suddenly made things a lot more interesting.
If the former Jack Adams winner’s comments are any indication, a potential lack of buy-in from the Orange and Black, a staple on every Torts-led team, could be an issue once the Flyers' season gets rolling on Oct. 13th against the New Jersey Devils.
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