Fantasy Take: Torts Takes Over Philly

Ian Gooding

2022-06-17

The Philadelphia Flyers have hired John Tortorella to be their new head coach.

Tortorella likely needs no introduction here. Not looking to start a full rebuild, the Flyers were rumored to be searching for an established name to breathe some life into a team that has missed the playoffs the past two seasons. Even if he can't turn the Flyers around, Torts should be anything but boring. Expect some wildly entertaining press conferences, to say the least.

Torts is an old-school coach who should bring defensive structure to the Flyers. That could help Carter Hart, whose career has stalled the past couple seasons. However, Tortorella's direct approach can just as well destroy the confidence of players. The next season or two will be critical in determining Hart's career trajectory.

Cam Atkinson played under Tortorella in Columbus and is also believed to be a big fan of his. Atkinson said in an interview that the Flyers needed more "F-you" to their game, and it goes without saying that Torts would bring that. Atkinson was one of very few Flyers to have a decent 2021-22 season and could thrive under his former Blue Jacket coach again. Atkinson had his best offensive seasons (41 and 35 goals) when Torts was his coach. Don't expect many Flyers to thrive offensively under Torts' defensive system, however. Since the Flyers are expected to be a player in the free agent market, certain Flyers could see improvements in fantasy value based on major roster additions, though.

The Flyers could become a reliable source for hits and blocked shots under Tortorella, who has gone on the record to stress the need for the latter in one of his previous coaching stops. Ivan Provorov was tied for third in the league with 172 blocked shots, so he could quickly become a Torts favorite. I wouldn't be surprised if Torts also gives Rasmus Ristolainen more icetime than he deserves. Ristolainen has been a minus player for each of his nine NHL seasons, yet he has reached 200 hits in four of his past five seasons. After his 2021-22 season was cut short due to injury, Risto could once again be an effective bangers league option.

Players this helps:

Hart

Atkinson

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