John Tortorella defends Flyers’ disappointing offseason


Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella took the time to defend his boss and his new players during an interview Wednesday. (Getty Images)

Flyers head coach John Tortorella doesn’t want to hear any criticism of his team’s offseason.

While other NHL teams have been hailed for improving their teams in the early weeks of the summer, Philadelphia has arguably remained fairly stagnant after finishing 29th overall last season. After missing out on hometown boy Johnny Gaudreau, signing last-six forward Nic Deslauriers to a long-term contract, and acquiring controversial defenseman Tony DeAngelo, a good swath of the fan base has plenty of questions and still more pessimism about where their team stands. title.

Tortorella will have none of that.

“I’m a little pissed off with some of the things said about a few players and Tony DeAngelo, at least some of the things I’ve read. I haven’t read them all, I don’t spend my day trying to listen to everyone , what they are talking about”, Tortorella

“Tony DeAngelo is a hell of a player, Tony DeAngelo has personality. Will he say and do stupid things? you don’t win that way, you don’t win championships, you don’t build a team without personality. Tony will bring that and, on top of that, he’s a hell of a player.”

The 26-year-old defenseman has been embroiled in controversy throughout his hockey career. From being suspended from junior hockey for on the ice, to entering r and eventually being bought out by the Rangers, which led him into the 2020-21 season. It’s been well documented just how much of a headache this player can be for a team, but earlier this offseason Philadelphia passed a few draft picks from Carolina and signed him to a $10 million deal on two years.

In addition to bringing in the infamous character, the Flyers were unable to bring the local boy to the team as Salem, New Jersey, Gaudreau opted to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets instead. . Tortorella also thinks people sometimes don’t understand what’s going on behind the scenes and should just get over it.

“But everybody’s upset about Johnny G, that Johnny G wasn’t signed,” Tortorella said. “Any GM would be interested in a guy like that and I’m sure Chuck [Fletcher] has been. But sometimes there’s the lay of the field, where are your contracts, where is your cap and where is your team, quite honestly. Is it time to sign a free agent like this? I think we have a bit of building to do here and a bit of growth.”

It’s true that most teams, after finishing near the bottom of the standings, don’t go out and sign one of the best players to ever hit the open market in recent memory. But, history writes itself, as the Flyers were out of wiggle room and unwilling to pay the hefty price to offload big contracts to allow Gaudreau to come home.

The Flyers will aim to become at least a moderately competitive team after hiring Tortorella as head coach last month. If nothing else, they will continue to be an entertaining mess.

Philadelphia is Tortorella’s fifth NHL head coaching position since his debut behind the bench in the 2000-01 season. Most recently, he was in charge of the Blue Jackets and won his one and only Stanley Cup ring as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.

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