Laczynski all smiles as a new dad, appreciates Tortorella's family-first demand


VOORHEES, N.J. — If Tanner Laczynski was tired, he hid it well while sitting at his locker stall Monday for the first time as a father.

The lack of sleep or pressure of the NHL grind didn't matter.

He was a dad. And all smiles.

The Flyers' 25-year-old center and his wife Madison had their first child, a baby boy named Leo, over the weekend. He was born at 12:28 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at eight pounds, two ounces.

"Big boy," Laczynski said.

After battling injuries over the past two seasons, Laczynski earned a role in the Flyers' 2022-23 lineup on the fourth line. He recorded his first career NHL point with a pair of assists in the club's season-opening, 5-2 win Oct. 13 over the Devils.

John Tortorella was not going to have him in the lineup Thursday or Saturday. After the first six games, Laczynski missed the Flyers' last two as his wife went into labor.

"Let's remember what we're doing. We're entertainers. It's a sport," Tortorella said Monday after practice. "There was no way he was coming back here. Everybody's thrilled for him, thrilled for his wife. I know it was a long night for her. That stuff's more important than anything — your family."

Laczynski appreciated the boss telling him to go be with her.

"He was great about it," Laczynski said. "He said, 'Be with your family, that's most important.'

"There's so much stuff in the league, you're always so busy that you don't usually get that time. It was nice to have two or three days off to be there for my wife and our beautiful boy."

Laczynski's teammates had him lead stretches after practice. They tapped their sticks and then forced Travis Sanheim into the middle of the stretching circle alongside Laczynski. The 26-year-old defenseman recently got engaged.

"Glad the guys had the chance to recognize them," Tortorella said.

"We forget, we get caught in the winning and losing and all this stuff. It's not nearly as important as what Tanner went through, him and his family."

Laczynski was uncertain how much sleep he had gotten over the past few days.

"Not as much as I'd like," he said with a laugh. "But, no, it was good. I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could and help my wife.

"I'm just glad that she's healthy, baby's healthy and everything went well."

Any dad tips from his teammates?

"Here and there," Laczynski said. "They always just say whatever you read or look up, they said just throw it out the window, go with your instincts, you'll know what to do when he's here."

Laczynski, a 2016 sixth-round draft pick, was a four-year college product. He met his wife at Ohio State.

"Fortunate enough to have a beautiful child now," he said. "It's been awesome."

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