The Philadelphia Flyers are a franchise in flux. In mid-June, they named the veteran NHL bench chief Jean Tortorelle as the new head coach to try to bring some stability to a team that is anything but stable.
In shocking news for exactly no one, Torts is already telling the media that he’s very concerned about the culture inside the Flyers locker room. Thursday, Tortorella spoke on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio regarding these concerns.
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“I have big concerns about the venue,” Tortorella said. “I spent the summer going back and forth to Philadelphia trying to settle there. I’ve spent time in the office talking to players, talking to staff, talking to Chuck (Fletcher), the whole front office, and I have great concerns about what’s going on in there.
The Flyers finished dead last in the Metropolitan Division last season and second to last overall in the Eastern Conference ahead of only the Montreal Canadiens. They fired head coach Alain Vigneault in early December after losing eight straight games and started the year with an 8-10-4 overall record.
Mike Yeo was named interim coach until he too was fired by the organization on May 3 after the end of the regular season. Torts joins the team after a year away from coaching to do analysis for ESPN. In his final season with Columbus, he led the Blue Jackets to an 18-26-12 record that was good for last in the Central Division in pandemic format.
“Even before stepping on the ice, the situations, standards and responsibility in the room are at the forefront,” continued Tortorella. “You can’t crouch on the ice until you tidy up your room, and I think we have a little work to do there.”
At last year’s trade deadline, Philly sent Claude Giroux, the longest-serving captain in franchise history, to Florida. Giroux was unsuccessful in his Stanley Cup chase with the Panthers and signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Ottawa Senators in the offseason.
The Flyers didn’t fill that leadership hole on their roster with an addition this summer. Their most notable acquisition actually came from defenseman Tony DeAngelo. The same Tony DeAngelo who fought off the ice with his own teammates in New York.
“I’m in no rush to appoint a captain,” Tortorella said.
Philadelphia kicks off its season on October 13 with its home opener against the New Jersey Devils.