The NHL trade deadline draws near, and we will have another post later looking at the Flyers situation and the possible activity (or inactivity) of GM Chuck Fletcher as the Flyers look to “build this the right way” after obviously doing it the wrong way for his entire tenure and even for several years before that.

But we’ve got to get to the true face of the franchise first. The one guy you can count on to be a straight shooter with you and pull no punches. The one guy who has a track record of success, who has equity with the fans because of his blunt honesty and transparency, and frankly the trailblazer for the organization finally getting behind the notion of a (*whisper*) rebuild.

And that is coach John Tortorella, who, after his team fell to 1-10 in overtime games Wednesday, once again shot straighter than an arrow with fans.

It was a pretty good hockey game, with a spirited back and forth between Flyers and Rangers fans in the crowd. The game was close. It was tight. It had it’s ebbs and flows with the Flyers taking it to the much more-talented (albeit undermanned) Rangers (they played with only 16 skaters instead of the usual 18 because of trades and related salary cap issues) for a large portion of the contest.

Not that a lot Flyers fans could see it on their TVs, primarily those with Xfinity cable because of a screw up with blackout rules by the NHL, TNT, and cable provider. Nor did many of them see it in person, because the decent-sized crowd inside the Wells Fargo Center was more New York fans than Flyers fans.

So, consider it Murphy’s Law if you are the Flyers organization these days. The team stinks and the franchise is rudderless, with poor leadership. Your stadium is being overrun by opposition fans like it never has before in the entire history of the organization, and even when your team plays their balls off against a better opponent, those watching from home couldn’t see it.

The Flyers had no control over the television screw up, nor do they really have control over who has access to tickets in the building because of the secondary market, but, the latter part, according to Torts, is still their fault, and they need to own it:


“We make our own bed. You know? We need to get this the right direction where maybe some day those tickets are hard to come by. Don’t blame anybody else, blame us. This is what we’ve made here. Hopefully along the way we get this turned around. I’m not sure when, but get it back to where that’s a tough ticket, and maybe the Ranger fans just aren’t allowed in the building because we have filled it with our people. Not there yet obviously. I’m not blaming the fans; I’m not blaming anybody else except us in the organization. We make our own bed here, and where we’re at. It’s up to us to get out of it.”

This is exactly the kind of honesty and accountability the Flyers need from everybody. This is exactly what I was talking about when I wrote about Fletcher’s press conference Tuesday. This is exactly what Russ and I spent 45 minutes talking about on the latest episode of Snow The Goalie. Give the fans this, and they’ll have your back. They still might yell and scream about the things they don’t like. They still may complain, and rightfully so, when things go off the rails for multiple seasons.


They will give you more leeway and more support if you are just up front with them. It doesn’t require message coordination, or misdirection, or gaslighting (apparently, that was the word of the year, according to Merriam-Webster, so we’re gonna use it when we can).

It’s simple. Tell us the truth. Give us hard-work and effort. Show progress, even if it’s baby steps. Do those three things, and Philadelphia fans are your ride or die.

But if you fuck up, especially to this extreme, and you don’t have that relationship to catch you when you fall, the fans will give you the Paulie Cicero:

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