Flyers coach John Tortorella pushes full throttle on Day 1, loves him some ‘ugly as hell’

VOORHEES, NJ — Mason Millman grabbed a water bottle and cleaned up some of what he could not preserve down behind the bench.

The 21-year-old defensive prospect had the unenviable activity of being among the many first group to plow by way of John Tortorella’s infamous Day 1 of skating till you virtually collapse.

That’s skating and skating and skating. Lap after lap after lap. Down and again after down and again.

At 8:30 am

Millman, removed from the one participant to be hunched over afterwards, noticed the massive boss give him a supportive faucet on the shoulder.

As if to say: Way to go, child. You completed. That’s what it is all about.

Tortorella was introduced Thursday as the Flyers kicked off the 2022 coaching camp in grueling model.

No pucks. All skating.

Each of the 4 teams to take one of many two ice sheets on the Flyers Training Center skated for 27 or so minutes.

The classes included about 17 minutes of laps that may lengthen in distance as the assistant coaches moved the nets from the highest of the circles to the purpose crease. Following the laps had been down and backs, skating from purpose line to purpose line for 10 minutes.

“For me, it isn’t bodily. For them it’s. You watch them and it must be,” Tortorella mentioned. “I get that and I recognize that. But for me, I’m watching the psychological a part of it. … Especially with a brand new workforce, there are going to be psychological and bodily assessments after they do not even know it is taking place I used to be actually completely happy about how the fellows dealt with themselves at the moment.

“There’s going to be tougher skates than at the moment as we undergo camp. It’s to not pound our chest and simply bury them. We need to take a look at them and it develops a camaraderie. They type of take a look at you want, ‘You’re not going to get to me.’ I believe that is the angle we’re making an attempt to develop is a will.”

With a Stanley Cup ring and two Jack Adams Awards on his résumé, the 64-year-old Tortorella was employed in June as the Flyers’ new head coach. He was introduced on board to, largely, change the tradition of the membership, which went 25-46-11 final season.

“Last 12 months, we handled numerous adversity, on and off the ice,” Flyers normal supervisor Chuck Fletcher mentioned. “Clearly we did not meet the challenges that we confronted, there is no ducking that. It was a particularly disappointing season, one we lived with all summer time and positively one which drove us to make the modifications that we did, each on and off the ice.

“But this 12 months, it is a clear slate for everyone — John has made that very clear to the gamers. We know there’s numerous skeptics, lots of people that do not imagine we’re an excellent hockey workforce. I do know our gamers are desirous to show them mistaken — all of us are.”

Nicolas Deslauriers is among the Flyers’ newcomers. The rugged winger signed a four-year deal in July. As Tortorella watched Deslauriers start to labor by way of his laps, he went over to assistant coach Brad Shaw a bit involved.

“We had been in all probability two repetitions into the skate and I went all the way down to Shawsy and I mentioned, ‘S—, Shawsy, I’m undecided what is going on to occur right here with Nic,'” Tortorella mentioned. “I used to be critical. And I watched that man and he was ugly as hell, however he obtained by way of it. He by no means stopped. He completed the place he was supposed to complete.”

Tortorella was passionate as he talked about it. He felt one thing was achieved by way of the ugliness.

“I went to Nic after, I mentioned, ‘I hope some different guys noticed that.’ I mentioned, ‘I do not care what it appears like as lengthy as the end was there,'” Tortorella mentioned. “He got here into the workplace after the skate and we talked just a little bit about it. Those are essential little issues.”

Tony DeAngelo, one other offseason addition, had fun when he sat down within the press convention room upstairs on the Flyers Training Center.

“I used to be looking for an elevator to stand up right here,” he mentioned.

The legs had been asking for a break.

Had he ever gone by way of a primary day during which there was no use of pucks?

“No,” he mentioned with fun. “But it is all proper, altering issues up, so it is good.

“It’s a combination of all of it. Getting in form, preparing for the beginning of the season, but in addition mentally, I’m positive it goes by way of all people’s head there, you possibly can’t look forward to it to be performed. But how exhausting may you push the ultimate two laps, three laps, 4 laps? Then after that, you’ve got obtained the six ups and downs, too. It’s a troublesome day. He is aware of what he is doing.”

Wade Allison is wholesome and seeking to win over a brand new teaching workers. He’s pushing for a roster spot and favored being pushed by Tortorella on Thursday.

“Today wasn’t to kill us, at the moment was to tell us that it is about will,” he mentioned. “And tomorrow’s going to be the identical factor.

“Find it deep inside your self and preserve pushing, push your self to be the most effective you possibly can probably be. He’s making an attempt to get that from the highest gamers all the way in which down.”

The Flyers have 60-plus wholesome gamers in camp. Tortorella was “thrilled that everyone got here early” forward of camp.

“They’ve been right here since Sept. 1, many of the veterans, some of the youngsters got here just a little later,” he mentioned. “I believe they obtained some good work performed collectively that approach and some camaraderie comes into it, too.”

The Flyers had been hit exhausting by accidents final season. They’re coping with them now, too.

It solely heightens Tortorella’s problem right here in Philadelphia.

“When I drove over the bridge and I noticed town of Philly, I like coming to this constructing as a result of typically how nice it was, it helps the house workforce however typically it helps the away workforce much more. You come right into a constructing that is alive , Tortorella mentioned. “That’s my hope is that if we begin doing the issues we’re purported to do, act the way in which we’re purported to and simply put the time in as far as effort, it will get folks again in right here so we are able to get that sort of environment.

“A earlier than B. I do know we need to take a look at our report and wins and losses and playoffs and crap like that, however I simply need us to get on the fitting observe as far as how we’re as professionals. Hopefully carry it into as a gaggle and the way we’re as a workforce.”

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