It’s one thing for Philadelphia Flyers management to talk about a rebuild. It’s another for the players whose minds and bodies are on the line, 82 times a year.
Philadelphia Flyers management, to their credit, have declared that the team is in a rebuild. General manager Daniel Briere and president Keith Jones have steadfastly stuck to that philosophy while also saying the team will not tank games.
Players are going to line up and their intent is to win games. Period. No matter who is on the ice wearing their uniform, they want to win.
“I’m sure in the room, the players are not thinking rebuild,” Briere said at a news conference Tuesday. “And I hope they’re not.
“I made that very clear with them that every game we expect them to win and to go out and give their all. Torts [coach John Tortorella] was able to get the best out of them last year, which was really impressive.
“We expect the same thing this year. We’re not tanking any games. We’re not trying to lose on purpose. We’re gonna do things obviously for the future but at the same time we expect these guys to go out and win every game. I hope they know that. I’ve told them that. I’m going to reinforce that before camp starts as well.
“We’re not trying to lose. We’re trying to develop our guys hopefully in a winning culture, in an environment where they leave everything they have on the ice every single night. And I hope and think our fans will respect that.”
NHL experts and the media have reacted accordingly to the Flyers’ rebuild. Expectations are low from the outside.
“I read the predictions and I see where everybody is picking us last or bottom three in the NHL,” Briere said.
“I hope the players use that as a motivation. I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go. We hope and we believe that they’re better than what the predictions are out there.
“But at the same time, these guys are going to be in control of that. It’s their turn, it’s their chance to prove everybody wrong.”
Coming at 10 a.m.: Ranking the Flyers’ top prospects.
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