This afternoon the Flyers sent a letter, apparently penned by Head Coach John Tortorella, to season ticket holders and members of their “Inside Edge” program, that would appear to attempt to spell out the direction of the franchise for fans.
This isn’t the first time Torts has spoken directly to fans — you may recall, he wrote a letter to the fans when he first arrived, setting the stage for what he hoped this team would be.
Something about this letter feels distinctly different. The explicit admission that “we’re not there yet.” That the rest of the season is meant to “see what we have and what we need to move forward.” Doubling down on the idea that what we are doing here is forging an identity. That the rest of the season is going to be a real challenge for this team. He doesn’t say “rebuild” but the whole thing has a real New-York-Rangers-this-is-gonna-be-rough-letter vibe to it, no?
The team has told us it is fair to say that this letter is the Flyers organization as a whole speaking through John Tortorella. Which is interesting, because over the past several months it seemed like there was a real disconnect between Torts’ press conferences — in which he has frankly admitted the team isn’t very talented and the organization needs to build from the ground up — and Chuck Fletcher’s “we like our team and we’re five points out of the playoffs” nonsense.
If nothing else, it’s an interesting shift. Yes John Tortorella wrote this letter, but the team approved it. The front office knows what he said here. What we see from Chuck between now and the trade deadline remains to be seen, but this letter can maybe, MAYBE, give us a tiny little morsel of hope that the organization as a whole know what needs to happen here.
We shall see.