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Torts talks about the type of players he wants for Flyers



Philadelphia Flyers, John Tortorella

So what kind of players does new Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella want on his team?

Guys that do a little bit of everything.

He wants his top forwards to sometimes get dirty in front of the net, and his bottom-liners to do more than just be good defensive players who play with a hellbent style.

Tortorella met with the media for an informal, mostly off-the record chat Tuesday in the team’s practice-facility locker room in Voorhees. He seemed comfortable, excited, and animated — and glad to be back in his element after working as a hockey analyst for ESPN this season.

Only answers toward the end of the chat were on the record, the Flyers said, including Tortorella’s interesting reply on the kind of players he wants on his roster.

What is the definition of a Tortorella-type player? Someone like 6-3, 227-pound Josh Anderson, a gritty right winger who played for him in Columbus and is now with Montreal?

“You don’t find too many Josh Andersons or Tommy Wilsons,” Tortorella said. “There aren’t many of those in the league. Those are very important people.”

Torts said his reputation is that he only likes those type of players.

‘Boxed in’

“I get boxed in that I just want that third- or fourth-line guy that’s going to grind,” he said. “That’s not the way I feel.”

He said he wants a player “who is committed to his teammates, and will do anything to help his team, both on and off the ice. I want a player who believes that you do this by doing things together. It’s a really unique situation, where  (in order) for players to be the best they can be, they need to be selfish. They need to worry about their conditioning, worry about their game. But they also need to believe that not one player does it. You have to do it all together in a team concept.

“To me, it’s easier to coach those third and fourth-line guys, for lack of a better term. I want the third- and fourth-line guys to know that those top-six guys, those stars, are going to be doing the same bleep you’re doing. They’re going to be doing your strengths, too. Their strengths are maybe scoring 35, 40 goals. But the things you do are just as important to win in this league, and they need to do that, too.”

Tortorella said he’s “not turning a top guy into a checker; it’s turning a top guy into saying, ‘You know what. I need to get in there, also. I need to get into the paint. I need to block a shot to show everybody that I’m willing to do it.”

When you get bottom-six players chipping in with goals, and top-six forwards playing with an edge, “that’s when you have success,” Tortorella said.

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In the “top six” on the Flyers current roster, outside of Cam Atkinson and perhaps Sean Couturier, Joel Farabee and Scott Laughton, I don’t see any of them who will be able to fit into the John Tortorella plan. Guys like James van Riemsdyk, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom, Morgan Frost? (if he makes the team) etc, don’t seem like the type of players who’ll be willing to play that style of hockey.
It’s time for that horrible GM to actually make some moves to improve this team in the dynamic approach that John Tortorella will be using (thank God we have Torts as the Flyers coach, I’ve wanted him here for years).
If a guy like Anderson is available through a trade, get him now!
If they can get a guy like Gaudreau (who I think will be too expensive), or Filip Forberg, it will be a plus. I would like the Flyers to acquire a good back up goalie to be the right pair for Carter Hart, as Torts likes to use each goalie in equal game shifts (instead of piling 60 games on a 23 year old goalie who hasn’t even reached his prime years yet), a goalie like Jack Campbell or Braden Holtby (who is a close friend of Carter Hart).
For some help on the defence a guy like Jack Johnson would be an awesome signing.
Fletcher needs to get busy, and if he needs to trade some of the “assets” or “prospects” to make this work, he’ll need to do it. As for the group starting with JvR etc. they need to be dealt.
The “country club” atmosphere should be replaced with a mean edge of determination for this roster.
They should also stop forcing that mascot into everything they do. Just bring that clown out for the Flyers Wives Carnival for the kids.
The Flyers need to be an adult team again, instead of playing (G) rated hockey, they need to be (R) rated!

CP Sweet

While initially all I wanted to do was bash this comment, most of it actually makes a lot of sense for what the team will need in order not to suck for years to come.


Okay, Gaudreau is 5’9”, will cost $7.5 million a year and then Torts wants him running around checking people. How does that end?


This makes a lot of sense but easier said than done. Guys have to play for the guy next to them which means they need to see that guy giving up his body if they are expected to.

But this is also a bit old school. The new NHL requires more skill than Torts has had in a long time. The Flyers don’t have a lot of that right now.

Christopher Hines Sr

The team needs a star someone who wants to win no matter what we haven’t had that since Lindros !!!!!

Christopher Hines Sr


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