In 2018, the New York Rangers issued a letter to their season ticket holders explaining that a rebuild was coming and beloved players would be on their way out. The Chicago Blackhawks followed suit in 2020, and now the Philadelphia Flyers are the latest to try and explain their actions through personal appeal. The Flyers sent out a note today from head coach John Tortorella that read, in part (via Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic):
This season I’ve challenged the veterans on the team, and I’ve been very happy with their response. Beyond the stts, they’ve shown a willingness to adapt, compete, and lead our group both on and off the ice.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you – and I want to be clear about this – we’re not there yet. Thi year was the first step in building the future of the FLyers and restoring our reputation as one of the most respected teams in hockey.
It is rather telling that the team decided this letter should come from Tortorella, not general manager Chuck Fletcher. As O’Connor points out, it suggests that the organization “knows Torts is the better (or more trusted) messenger” at the moment. Fletcher’s moves have largely disappointed in recent years, while Tortorella at least has the undermanned Flyers group fighting (sometimes literally) every night.
- Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone was listed out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery, but head coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t rule him out completely when asked today. Danny Webster of the Las Vegas Sun relays Cassidy’s comments that there could be an “opportunity” for Stone’s return if the Golden Knights can make the playoffs. Vegas currently sits in the third Pacific Division spot but holds a tenuous lead over the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.
- The Dallas Stars are in no rush to make moves and will wait to “get a feel for the market,” according to general manager Jim Nill in conversation with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. Nill noted that injuries over the next few weeks could drastically impact the team’s strategy at the deadline, and so too could strong performances from young players in the minor leagues. Sometimes overlooked as a contender, Dallas currently leads the entire Western Conference with 66 points and a +40 goal differential.