Why Torts getting high makes sense

No, John Tortorella did not just get sick of watching his team get run over game after game and leave.

Why Torts getting high makes sense
Photo Credit: Heather Barry

It feels fair to guess that, judging by their long track records in the game, Flyers head coach John Tortorella and interim general manager Danny Briere look at the game of hockey a little differently.

Even though both of their NHL careers began around the same time, they were both known for very different brands of hockey, but also very different personalities.

Tortorella was (and still is) brash and abrasive, he would try to fire his players up by clashing with the media, other coaches, and even opposing players at times.

Briere, on the other hand, is a much quieter individual, and was never one to really get involved in on-ice scrums, unless you really made him angry.

And both of these attitudes will definitely transition into how those two would like to outfit the Flyers for the future. A large gap between how the two most important people in the organization view the game can create friction.

This was a problem between Chuck Fletcher and Torts, and it always felt that once Tortorella was hired that Fletcher's days were essentially numbered, because it never felt as if the two were working in tandem with one another. Fletcher got the players he thought would improve the team over the offseason, and Tortorella coached what he had, but there wasn't much collaboration over the short relationship.  

Tortorella never had the opportunity to really consult with Fletcher over an offseason, and it definitely contributed to how badly this season went. The fact that he is taking the opportunity to go and watch games from a different vantage point to understand the new general manager's perspective is very encouraging.

And from an opposite standpoint it is also great to see Briere, who is new to the job without any NHL experience, try and consult with his coach in order to get on the same page and try to develop a roster plan that fits both of their ideals.

You can argue ad nauseam about the merits of hiring Briere, retaining Tortorella through a rebuild, and how that could effect the organization in the future. But at least now there Flyers fans can rest easy for the moment knowing that there are, at least, two capable hockey people in the press box combining their knowledge to try and get this thing right.

In talking to The Athletic's Charlie O'Connor, Torts explained just how valuable that time with his GM was:

"We got to converse about style of play, what’s going on in certain plays. We got to converse on personnel. It’s the most him and I were able to sit down and talk about the future of the team.”

This last section of the season will hopefully create a deeper bond between the two, and after a long segment of time not really knowing what or how decisions are made, this could be a goods first step to creating a competitive roster.