Tortorella fully pushes the throttle on day one with Flyers, and some ‘ugly as hell’ love him

Voorhees, NJ – Mason Millman grabbed a water bottle and cleaned up some things he couldn’t keep behind the seat.

The potential 21-year-old had the unenviable task of being among the first group to ride the infamous John Tortorella Day of Skating until it practically collapsed.

This is skiing, snowboarding and skating. Lap after lap after lap. down and then back after going down and back.

8:30 am

Millman, far from the only player to be bent down after that, saw the big boss give him a supportive flick on his shoulder.

As if to say: Well done boy. I finished. Thats all about it.

Tortorella was announced on Thursday as the Flairs kick off their 2022 training camp in grueling fashion.

No pucks. All skiing.

Each of the four groups takes one of two snowboards at the Flyers Training Center skate for 27 minutes or so.

Sessions included about 17 minutes of laps that would stretch a distance as the assistant coaches moved the nets from the top of the circles into the goal lap. After laps, he skated from the goal line to the goal line for 10 minutes.

“To me, it’s not physical,” Tortorella said. “For them it is. You watch them and it should be.” “I get that and I appreciate it. But for me, I’m watching the mental part of it. … Especially with a new team, there will be mental and physical tests when they don’t even know it’s happening. I was really happy with the way the guys treated themselves today.”

“There’s going to be harder skating than today as we go through camp. It’s not just about pounding our chests and burying them. We want to test them and that develop a camaraderie. They kind of look at you like, ‘You’re not going to reach me.'” I think that’s the attitude we’re trying to develop is a will.”

With a Stanley Cup ring and two Jack Adams awards on his resume, 64-year-old Tortorella was named in June as the Flyers’ new head coach. He was brought on board, in large part, to change the club’s culture, which went 25-46-11 last season.

“In the past year, we’ve dealt with a lot of adversities, both on and off the ice,” said Chuck Fletcher, General Manager of Flyers. “Obviously we didn’t meet the challenges we had, and there’s no avoiding. It’s been a very disappointing season, we’ve had it all summer and definitely one that has pushed us to make the changes we’ve made, on and off the ice.

“But this year, it’s a clean slate for everyone – John made it clear to the players. We know there are a lot of skeptics, a lot of people who don’t think we’re a good hockey team. I know the players are eager to prove them wrong – we are all.”

Nicolas Deslauriers is one of the newcomers to Flyers. The powerful winger signed a four-year contract in July. As Tortorella watched the Deslauriers go into labor through his laps, he went to assistant coach Brad Shaw as an anxious boy.

“Maybe we were frequent skiing and I went down to Shawsei and said, ‘S…Chausey, I’m not sure what’s going to happen here with Nick,'” Tortorella said. “I was serious. And I watched that guy and he was ugly as hell, but he got over it. He never stopped. He ended up where he was supposed to.”

Tortorella was passionate as he talks about it. He felt that something had been accomplished through ugliness.

“I went to Nick after that, and I said, ‘I wish some other guys would see that. ‘ I said, ‘I don’t care what it’s going to look like as long as the ending is there,’ Tortorella said. ‘He came into the office after skiing and we talked a little bit about it. These are important little things.”

Tony D’Angelo, another off-season addition, laughed as he sat in the upstairs press conference room at the Flyers Training Center.

“I was trying to find an elevator so I could go up here,” he said.

The legs were asking for a break.

Has there ever been a day when you didn’t use pucks?

“No,” he said, laughing. “But it’s OK, things change, so that’s OK.

“It’s a combination of it all. Getting fit and getting ready for the start of the season, but also mentally, I’m sure it’s going through everyone’s head out there, you can’t wait for it to be done. But how hard, can you push the last two laps, three laps, four laps ?Then after that, you have six laps up and down too. It’s a tough day. He knows what he’s doing.”

Wade Allison is healthy and looking forward to winning a new training device. It’s paying for a place on the list and would love to pay Tortorella on Thursday.

“Today was not to kill us, today was to let us know that it was about will,” he said. Tomorrow it will be the same.

“Look deep inside you and keep pushing, pushing yourself to be the best you can be. He’s trying to get that from the best guys along the way.”

The Flyers have over 60 healthy players in camp. Tortorella was “thrilled that everyone came early” before camp.

“They’ve been here since September 1, most of the veterans and some kids came in a little later,” he said. “I think they did some good work together that way and some camaraderie goes into that as well.”

Flyers were badly injured last season. They’re dealing with them now, too.

It only increases the challenge for Tortorella here in Philadelphia.

“When I was driving over the bridge and I saw Philly, I like to come to this building because sometimes it was great, it helps the home team but sometimes it helps the away team more,” Tortorella said. We’re supposed to do it, and act the way we’re supposed to put time as much effort into it, that’s going to bring people back here so we can have that kind of atmosphere.

“A before B. I know we want to look at our record and win and lose and knockout matches and crap like that, but I just want us to get on the right track as much as we are professional. I hope we put it in as a group and how we are as a team.”

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