Twenty (Not So) Bold Predictions For 2023-2024 Flyers: Part 3

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Tortorella Will Continue the Benchings…..

Even with “problem children” Hayes and DeAngelo out of the picture, there will be more players shown the pine this season. Young players need to learn and making them sit is a way to send a message. It is a fairly common practice younger players are shuttled in and out of the lineup until they are playing the way the coach wants. It is less common to have happen with a team’s top forwards, unless John Tortorella is coaching. Last year I was so certain that Hayes and Tortorella would have issues, I predicted it. I am not so sure this season, but Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost seem to be candidates for his hook. Given his penchant for losing his man defensively, don’t be surprised to see Cam York get the odd night in the press box.

…and Tortorella will be put on the Hot Seat

It may not be fair, but life isn’t, especially for a NHL coach. The Flyers are less talented then the prior season, and will go backwards. It is true that Tortorella may have been the primary driver in making the team less talented, as it looks as though he was a major force that jettisoned Hayes and DeAngelo. He may see the shedding of talent as a necessary step to make the team competitive and to get the culture he wants. But that is like deciding that burning down your current house is the only way to move into a new one. He’s the coach, it is his show.

Despite having substantial culpability, Tortorella probably does not deserve to have his employment questioned at this point for the team’s performance.   With the loss of key players, he is back to square one.  He is starting over, but without the dead wood.  The Flyers are not expected to compete this year, they have many unanswered question regarding their prospects, so a bad performance should be inline with expectations. But the end of the year will be ugly.

Briere, by virtue of the Hayes and Provorv trades and the DeAngelo dismissal, has given Tortorella enough rope to hang himself. Ultimately the movement of Hayes and DeAngelo started the clock on the end of Tortorella’s time here, and at the end of a tough season the knives will be out for Tortorella.

John Tortorella will Start the 2024-25 Season as Head Coach

Tortorella’s default is to press harder when the team doesn’t perform. The pressing and the lack of talent on the roster will cause the team, and the coach, to overheat. Players will act like they have lost agency, or the coaching staff asks for something they are not capable of delivering. That is how coaches lose the locker room.

Expect Tortorella to survive this long and frustrating season. But also be prepared for the stories of things not working for him in Philly that will circulate with more and more frequency. What starts as whispers this season will become a booming chorus by Christmas of 2025.

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