It kind of snuck up on us, but the Flyers' preseason starts in just over two weeks and the team is... well, uninspiring is probably the word you're searching for.
The offseason was largely centered around a trade for pricey defenseman Tony DeAngelo and the drafting of rookie Cutter Gauthier, and obviously the addition of head coach John Tortorella.
Tortorella has been the head coach for about two and a half months now, and with the season bearing down on us - the opening game is Oct. 13! - he's starting to make the rounds talking up the Flyers ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.
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Or you'd imagine that was the goal anyway. But Torts' comments to SiriusXM on Wednesday afternoon were not exactly encouraging for anyone hoping the Broad St. Bullies can shock the world.
Here's what Torts said when asked about the team's locker room heading into the season:
"As far as the room, I have major concerns about the room as far as - I've spent the summer going back and forth, I live in New York, I've been going back and forth to Philly trying to relocate there. But spent some time in the office talking to players, talking to personnel, talking to [general manager] Chuck [Fletcher], and I have concerns about what goes on in there. Before we even step on the ice, situations and standards and accountability in the room is forefront. You can't get squat done on the ice until you get your room straightened out, and I think we have a little bit of work to do there."
That's uhhh not great!
But wait, you might say: that's basically what he said in June, right? This isn't news!
You'd be partially right. Here's what Torts had to say about the state of things back when he was hired in June:
"I can sense that the locker room's a bit splintered, it's not together. That's my No. 1 goal right now. We can't do anything right on the ice unless we're together in that locker room, and that's a very important part of the first piece of work I need to do, is to get everybody to believe that we're together."
Extremely similar stuff, absolutely. He knows the Flyers have their work cut out for them.
The difference? He's been the head coach for almost three months and feels the exact same way! One would hope that Tortorella would feel a little bit better about the situation, would have been able to have conversations with folks and sort some stuff out ahead of the preseason, no?
Apparently not. So when the Flyers take the ice in 16 days at the Wells Fargo Center for the preseason opener, there is going to be a whole lot of work to be done for Torts & Co.