Which Flyers Could John Tortorella Be Talking About?

Feb 24, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) against the Montreal Canadiens at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) against the Montreal Canadiens at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Travis Sanheim

To say he is having a down year is an understatement. He is putting up about half of the points as he did last year with 12 games to go. He is averaging just a little over 20 minutes of ice time, which is actually his lowest since 2019-20. He also has his worst +/- rating (-6) since 2020-21 (-21) after posting a career high of +9 last year; his two-goal performance against Florida notwithstanding.

When he signed his contract extension this past fall. He’s good, but has he been worth what we will be paying him? Did Chuck Fletcher “panic sign” him? He’s not a top line defender and nor should he be paid like one. And like many of the current Flyers defensive squad, he is only as good as the person he is paired up with.

He’s long been hailed as the next great Flyers’ blueliner. Maybe because of that he’s taken a step back because he thought he earned it. As a result, he’s been benched. There is still time enough for him to improve. He’ll turn 27 next week. But bad habits are hard to break.

Ivan Provorov

Who is the guy who leads the team with 69 turnovers? It’s Ivan Provorov. He also is third worst in +/- (-14), leads the team in time on ice (23:07), and leads in blocked shots with 146.

The 28 year old is an enigma. Like Sanheim, he seems to be good only when paired with someone better. He’s never really seemed to improve. He’s seems to have a good year every other year…and this year doesn’t seem to be it. Again, he’s inconsistent, another problem that the Flyers defensive corps seems to have.

He also seems to be kind of moody about how his play is received. He seems to think more highly of himself than the coach and the fans. Now, allegedly, four years ago, Fletcher was once offered Patrik Laine for Provorov straight up and he refused. (D’oh!) Now, I think anyone would do it without thinking.

Both Sanheim and Provy were supposed to be the next dynamic defensive duo…like Eric Desjardins and Chris Therien. It just hasn’t panned out that way and both may be on the way out.

Kevin Hayes

This one shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Kevin Hayes has been benched and scratched. He disagreed with being benched and then went on a scoring tear before the All-Star Game.

Since then, he’s cooled off. Despite being second on the team with 51 points, he’s had just six points since the All-Star break (2G and 4A) . His -16 is the second lowest on the team.

Maybe he thought he was going to be traded. And with Travis Konecny out, he could’ve been the one to keep the offense going. It hasn’t. There are rumors that Columbus was interested in him and may still want him in the offseason. Other teams may want him too, depending on the salary cap issues.

It’s a shame it hasn’t seemed to work out as Hayes seems like the type of player that would’ve appealed to Torts. Maybe there can still be a reconciliation. Maybe not.

Tony DeAngelo

There were many people who upset that the Flyers paid a lot to acquire Tony DeAngelo. Out of all the players on this team, he has been one of the most inconsistent. He is fifth on the team in points with 37. One third of those points are on the power play, which he leads the team in points. At the same time, he has a horrendous -23; seven more than the next closest guy (Hayes).

He is a dynamic scorer on the power play, but has given up way too many chances to the other team including this one to Sebastian Aho in overtime that lost the game. Dang…that is embarrassing. DeAngelo is second on the Flyers with 55 turnovers…just behind Provy.

There are times he is really good and times he is horrific on defense. His inconsistency and seeming unwilling to change is grating on Torts and wearing thin on fans too. If he was paired up with a stronger, defensive minded blueliner, it might be different, but we haven’t had one of those since Matt Niskanen.

Tanner Laczynski

To be fair, he’s had an interesting season. He’s been hurt for the first portion of the season. He took time off when his wife had a child. So, some if it isn’t totally his fault.

At the same time, Tortorella has said he doesn’t look as if he is in shape. He’s played some, but he is averaging less than 10 minutes of ice time. He is a healthy scratch on many nights. Out of all the younger guys, he could be one of the ones whose time is up. He has a few weeks to change the coach’s mind, but it might not be enough.