Flyers coach John Tortorella pushed full throttle on day one, loves him ‘ugly as hell’

Voorhees, N.J. — Mason Millman grabbed a water bottle and put some of his wrath behind the bench.

The 21-year-old defensive prospect had the enviable task of being one of the first group to actually run down John Tortorella’s infamous first day of skating.

It’s skating and skating and skating. lap after lap. Down and back after down and back.

8:30 am

Afterwards, Millman wasn’t the only player to hunker down, but we saw Big Boss pat him on the shoulder.

As if to say: Well done, kid. It’s over.That’s everything.

Tortorella was touted Thursday as the Flyers kicked off their 2022 training camp in tough style.

No pack. all skates.

Each of the four groups taking one of the Flyers Training Center’s two ice sheets skated for about 27 minutes.

The session includes approximately 17-minute laps, increasing in distance as the assistant coach moves the net from the top of the circle to the goal crease. A lap was followed by downs and backs, skating from goal line to goal line for 10 minutes.

“For me it’s not physical. For them it’s physical. If you look at them it has to be physical,” said Tortorella. “I understand and appreciate it. But for me, I see the mental part of it….Especially in a new team, when you don’t even know it’s happening. Mental and physical tests will be done.. I was really pleased with how the guys responded today.

“As we go through the camp, we will be skating harder than we are today. They tell you, “You’re going to get to me differently. I think it’s the will that we’re trying to develop.”

Tortorella, 64, who has a Stanley Cup ring and two Jack Adams Awards on his resume, was hired as the Flyers’ new head coach in June. He mostly came on to change the culture of the club, which went 25-46-11 last season.

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said, “Last year we dealt with a lot of adversity both on and off the ice.” It has been a very disappointing season, a season that has been with us all summer and certainly a season that has driven us to make the changes that we have made to the ice.

“But this year is a blank slate for everyone. John made it very clear to the players. We know, players are eager to prove them wrong — all of us.”

Nicolas Deslauriers is one of Flyers’ newcomers. The hardy winger signed a four-year contract in July. Tortorella saw Deslauriers start the lap and was a little worried, so assistant coach he went to Brad Shaw.

“We were probably skating twice. I went to Shawsy and said, ‘S—, Shawsy, Nic, I don’t know what’s going to happen here.’ , I looked at the man.He was ugly as hell,but he got over it.He never stopped.He ended where he was supposed to end.”

Tortorella spoke enthusiastically. He felt that through his ugliness he had achieved something.

“I went to Nick afterward and said, ‘I hope other people have seen it.’ I said, ‘I don’t care what it looks like as long as the finish is there’. It’s a trifle.”

Another offseason addition, Tony DeAngelo, sat in the press conference room on the second floor of the Flyers Training Center and laughed.

“I was looking for an elevator to get up here,” he said.

My legs needed a break.

Has he ever had a puck-free first day?

“No,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s okay, I’m changing it, so it’s fine.

“It’s a mixture of everything. I’m sure it goes through everyone’s heads there, not only physically and ready to start the season, but also mentally. It’s done. “Can you push hard the last two, three, four laps? Then there are six ups and downs. It’s a tough day. He knows what he’s doing. I have.”

Wade Allison is healthy and looking to get a new coaching staff. He wants a spot on the roster and liked to be pushed by Tortorella on Thursday.

“It was not to kill us today, but to let us know that it was a matter of will.” And tomorrow it will be the same.

“Find it deep within yourself and keep pushing. Push yourself to be the best you can be. He’s trying to get it from the top players all the way.”

The Flyers camp has over 60 healthy players. Tortorella said before camp, “I’m excited that everyone came early.”

“They’ve been here since Sept. 1, mostly veterans, with some kids coming in a little later,” he said. “I think they did a good job together that way and there’s a sense of camaraderie there.”

Last season, the Flyers were devastated by injuries. They are dealing with them now too.

The challenge of Tortorella here in Philadelphia only grows.

“I love coming to this building when I see the city of Philadelphia across the bridge because sometimes I help the home team and sometimes I help the away team even more. Come to the building,” said Tortorella. “My hope is that if we start doing what we do, we do what we do, and we put in as much time as we put in, people come back here and we get that. type.

“Before A B. We want to see our records, our wins and losses, our playoffs and that kind of crap, but as long as we’re professionally how we’re on the right track. I just want you to ride.Hopefully that’s the group and the state of us as a team.”

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