At 8:15am, John Tortorella skated onto the ice. It was the calm before the oncoming storm at the Flyers Training Center. ‘Camp Tortorella’ will not be for the weak-willed.
Tortorella penned a transparent disclosure to the Philadelphia Flyers season ticket holders. Holding his players to a high standard on and off the ice sets a foundation. Unlike Chuck Fletcher, Tortorella set the expectation of a process that won’t happen overnight. The Flyers will be hard to play against; if they aren’t, the players getting in the way of that identity won’t see the ice. To Tortorella, that is “the driving force to our success and will define our 2022-2023 season.”
Currently, Tortorella is meeting with the media following the first day of the 2022 Flyers Training Camp. Fletcher approached the podium at 9:15am.
Concerning the prospects, the 2022 Flyers Development Camp and Rookie Camps were great. The Cates Brothers, Tyson Foerster, Ronnie Attard, and Samuel Ersson made a positive impression. They’re all included on the 2022 Flyers Training Camp roster, ready to mix in with the rest of the Philadelphia roster. More importantly, they’re prepared to earn the trust of Tortorella.
Excited to begin anew, here are the takeaways from the first day of the 2022 Flyers Training Camp:
- Forwards: Anisimov, Allison, Desnoyers, Foerster, Frost, Konecny, Lycksell, van Riemsdyk, Willman
- Defensemen: Connauton, DeAngelo, Karashik, Provorov, Zamula
- Goaltenders: Ersson, Lemieux
- Forwards: Atkinson, J. Cates, Gerald, Hayes, Kile, Laughton, Rochette, Roussel, Sandin
- Defensemen: Attard, Ginning, Hogberg, MacKinnon, Samson, York
- Goaltenders: Grosenick, Nagle
- Forwards: Brooks, N. Cates, Deslauriers, Gaucher, Gendron, Hodgson, Huchette, Laczynski, Tippett
- Defensemen: Braun, Ristolainen, Sanheim, Wylie, Zech
- Goaltenders: Sandstrom, Wall
- Forwards: Bellerive, Farabee, MacEwen, Marody, McSorley, Ratcliffe, Savard, Wisdom
- Defensemen: Belpedio, Felix, Millman, Seeler, Zanetti
- Goaltenders: Hart, Maier
Sean Couturier, Bobby Brink, and Ryan Ellis are absent from these groupings. Couturier reportedly has a herniated disc, and the Flyers are awaiting a second opinion. Ellis will miss the 2022-2023 season. Brink is two months into his five-month recovery window after the surgery to repair a torn labrum on his left hip.
About Ellis, Fletcher elaborated on the ‘multi-layer’ injury:
“There’s a psoas component of this, there’s a hip component, there’s an abductor component.”Chuck Fletcher; 9/22/2022
Others absent include JR Avon, Patrick Brown, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Garrett Wilson.
Hitting the ice with a purpose, the emphasis on heavy skating began. Tortorella moved the goals back, little by little, forcing wider laps around the rink during the opening session. Beginning camp with seventeen minutes of non-stop laps is a fitting start to ‘Camp Tortorella.’ Then, after the laps were suicide drills, touching both goal lines.
Farabee participated in every skating drill. His recovery time following neck surgery was three to four months, but Farabee is far ahead of that window.
Every group faced the skating gauntlet on the first day of camp, breaking themselves in.
Fletcher addressed the media first. He began with an injury update regarding Couturier and Ellis. Philadelphia will hear the second opinion today regarding Couturier. Ellis’ status was updated to “out indefinitely,” per Fletcher.
Additional detail surrounding Farabee reveals that he is available for non-contact sessions. He will be able to participate in all conditioning drills. Brown, the only Flyers skater from 2021-2022 not to participate today, is week-to-week while recovering from back surgery.
There will be plenty of opportunity for young prospects to make a leap to the NHL roster ahead of opening night versus the New Jersey Devils.
“This is probably the best opportunity since I’ve been here for young players to step up and either earn a bigger role on the NHL team or even to make the team. We have a big wave of young talent coming into our system this year. Some will play [in] Lehigh, some will play here. It’s an exciting opportunity for a lot of younger players.”Chuck Fletcher; 9/22/2022
Fletcher also provided insight regarding contract negotiations with Travis Sanheim. The goal is to extend Sanheim, and communication between Fletcher and his agent are in progress.
A commitment to completion thrilled Tortorella on the first day of the 2022 Flyers Training Camp. The players arrived to the Flyers Training Center early for the skate sessions, enduring the skating test from Tortorella:
“It doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you get through the skate.”John Tortorella; 9/22/2022
Concerning hot topics, such as the second opinion on Couturier, Tortorella did not receive an update. Tortorella said he did speak with him before he left for his second opinion, which he will be in contact later today. He is still trying to figure out what Philadelphia is as a team, citing Couturier as an “important guy.” Until confirmation regarding his health status, some of the Flyers roster remains unknown down the middle in the forward lineup.
“To start assessing ‘if he’s out, what happens?’ I can’t tell you because I don’t know what the team’s going to be.”John Tortorella; 9/22/2022
Away from injury, Tortorella expressed concerns regarding the locker room in Philadelphia. Accountability will be an over-arching theme throughout the 2022-2023 season, which Tortorella stressed is missing. Tortorella realizes that the locker room, while full of “good guys,” is not about friendship. Sometimes, accountability is lost when a locker room becomes too friendly. It shouldn’t be the coach everytime, which shines a light on player leadership.
“You don’t win until the locker room puts their hand out to the coach; ‘we got this.’ Are we there? No. We’re going to try to be guidance counselors to guide them down that road, that’s kind of what I’m talking about.”John Tortorella; 9/22/2022
He wants more out of his players. Tortorella will squeeze more out of his lineup, or they won’t be on the ice much. It’s “effort” that will breathe life back into the Wells Fargo Center.
“We can’t change your perception of what you feel about us. The only thing we can do is put our head down and work.”John Tortorella; 9/22/2022
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)