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TOUGH LOVE: ‘You Can’t Have Soft Skin,’ Flyers’ Cam York Says About Torts

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Cam York NHL debut

After practice Tuesday morning in Voorhees, demanding Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella was asked about defenseman Cam York’s training-camp performance.

“OK,” he responded. “There’s more there.”

It was not a ringing endorsement for the 21-year-old defenseman who entered camp heavily favored to be on the third pairing’s left side.

York could still start the season there, but Tortorella made it clear that the Southern California native has lots of improving to do.

In four preseason games, York is minus-5 and is point-less.

“We expect that,” Tortorella said about York’s growing pains. “We don’t expect to hit a home run with him right now. He’s on our radar as far as how we have to handle (him).”

Totorella said he wants York, who played in 30 games with the Flyers last season, to be “making a difference. His skating, his ability, his skill level. To me, it’s mental. It’s wanting to make a difference and being more consistent doing that.”

PHN: Many Flyers Regulars Will Sit Out Tuesday’s Preseason Finale

York, a first-round draft pick (14th overall) in 2019, has been pushed by Tortorella in training camp.

“He’s been hard on me; hard on all of us, really,” York said.”Always in our grills, giving us tips on the ice.. Telling us we need to be better. Stuff like that. I think it’s a good thing. I think we all need it.”

York doesn’t take the tough love personally.

“You can’t have soft skin,” he said. “You’ve got to accept what he’s saying. In the moment you  might be frustrated and annoyed, but it’s for the better.”

He said “continuing to build a relationship with him and the staff is going to be important.”

Has York ever had a coach like Torts?

“No,” he replied, chuckling.

York is expected to be paired with Ronnie Attard in the Philadelphia Flyers’ final exhibition game Tuesday against the visiting Islanders. Philly is 1-4, but it’s defensive effort was strong in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Isles.

Breakaways

Troy Grosenick and Sam Ersson are the Flyers’ goalies on Tuesday’s roster. They could be battling for the backup spot if Felix Sandstrom isn’t ready for the season opener. Sandstrom (1.34 GAA) and Ersson (1.93) have been terrific in the preseason. Grosenick (3.29 GAA) has been so-so. … Philly has been outscored, 12-5, in the preseason. … Flyers’ shot leaders in the exhibition season: Attard, Noah Cates, Jackson Cates, and Tyson Foerster, all with nine. … Wade Allison is tied for third in the NHL with 21 penalty minutes in the preseason. Hayden Hodgson is 11th with 13 minutes. … Forward Ryan Fitzgerald was sent to the Phantoms. … The Flyers have 44 players in camp, including those who are injured, and are expected to make massive roster cuts Wednesday.

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