John Tortorella addresses the elephant in the Flyers locker room

John Tortorella Flyers
John Tortorella no longer sees anthem protesters as trying to disrespect the flag. Now, “I don’t believe that’s in their heart. That is their feeling. … It is not mine, though.” ghows-OH-200619397-db31e5ec.jpg

One of the Philadelphia Flyers goals by hiring John Tortorella is to change the culture in the room.

There’s been plenty of criticism aimed at the Flyers regarding their recent head coaches. Alain Vigneault was fired early last season with plenty of reports that he had lost the room.

“There’s no love lost between the Flyers players and Alain Vigneault,” Frank Seravalli said on the Rundown podcast. “I can tell you from talking with Flyers players, they feel like he’s arrogant, doesn’t communicate well, and doesn’t spend a lot of time communicating with players.”

When GM Chuck Fletcher was asked by reporters if Vigneault lost the room, he wasn’t sure how to respond.

“I honestly don’t know that. I certainly know that he tried,” Fletcher answered. “You go back to the 2019-20 season, his message was well-received. Right now, we’ve lost our way and I think a new voice is needed.”

While you can lay blame at Vigenault’s feet, his interim replacement Mike Yeo had no success in turning things around. That means some of it also has to fall on the players.

John Tortorella concerned about the locker room

john tortorella flyers
Dec 2, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks on from behind the bench against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Capital One Arena. The Capitals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tortorella replaces Yeo, who stepped in after the Flyers fired Vigneault. A slight twist of fate as it was AV who replaced Torts with the New York Rangers in 2013-14.

The 64 year-old Torts is a no-nonsense, hold everyone accountable type of coach. You play his way or you don’t play at all. He comes in with a reputation of being hard on his players but very fair. He also is the 14th winningest coach in history with a record 673-541-37-132, two Jack Adams Awards, and one Stanley Cup.

When it comes to a locker room, he knows what makes one tick. That’s why in recent conversations with his players it’s become obvious there could be a serious problem.

“I have major concerns about the (locker) room,” Tortorella told SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on Wednesday. “I’ve spent some time in the office talking to players, talking to personnel, talking to (general manager) Chuck (Fletcher), all the front office. I have major 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.”

NHL.com

Philadelphia finished dead last in the Metro division last season with a record of 25-46-11. Torts is unlikely to have that happen under his watch.

Expect fireworks in Philly if it does.