John Tortorella on NHL All Star Game: ‘I really don’t care’

john tortorella nhl all star game
Dec 22, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella talks to his team during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL announced it’s initial roster for the All Star game on Thursday night as John Tortorella and his Philadelphia Flyers were busy beating the Arizona Coyotes.

Afterwards, a reporter asked Torts if he was upset that Travis Konecny didn’t get selected to the All-Star Game. As you would expect, his answer was raw and uncensored.

“I don’t even worry about that [expletive],” Tortorella responded. “The whole game, the whole weekend, I don’t even it watch it. I think the whole thing has turned into a– well, I’ll just leave it at that. I really don’t care.”

John Tortorella no fan of NHL All Star Game

This season, the NHL’s Hockey Ops selected one player from every team to make up the initial eight-man rosters for each division. The three remaining players per division (2 skaters and 1 goalie) will be decided by the fans, who can cast their votesĀ here.

Kevin Hayes was the Flyers selection and has 35 points in 38 games this season. However, there’s a genuine case to be made for Konecny, who leads the team in scoring with 40 points in just 33 games.

Regardless, Torts isn’t interested in the All Star Game but refused to delve into why. One would imagine the old school coach probably longs for the days when the best from the Wales (East) and Campbell (West) Conferences battled it out.

Torts isn’t alone either.

You can include me as someone who thinks the best of the best should be there. I understand the thought process of including one player from each team should translate into a broader interest. Unfortunately that’s not how it works.

Trevor Zegras
Feb 4, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Pacific Division forward Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks competes in the breakaway challenge during the 2022 NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Per Sports Media Watch, last year’s All Star game in Vegas was the lowest viewed since 2009.

You can also look at the initial rosters and ask yourself where is Auston Matthews or Leon Draisaitl? Honestly, Matthews has 10 more points than Hayes this season in the Eastern Conference and should not have to rely on a fan vote. And Draisaitl is the second leading scorer in the league, but too bad he’s on the same team as Connor McDavid.

Plus, it’s not an All Star Game anymore. It’s a 3 on 3 tournament until one division is left standing.

Bottom line is that it’s all become a little too gimmicky for some fans. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of fun interactions between the players and some pretty great highlight reel plays. Although the league should be asking if this is growing the game?

How could it since you’re choosing a format that doesn’t send the best 20 players from each Conference to compete against one another.

In closing, the highest rated All Star Game was in 2004 with 2.26 million viewers. It featured a Young Guns game and a Skills Competition. The game itself was standard 5 on 5 and saw the best of the East beat the West 6-4.

Maybe the NHL should go back to that format? Something to think about.

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