No matter how badly Philadelphia Flyers fans want the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, head coach John Tortorella wants them to stop asking him to tank.
In his press conference on Friday, Tortorella was asked about the portion of the fan base that wants the Flyers to lose and improve their draft lottery odds. Tortorella revealed that he has received mail from fans about tanking, but he isn't too fond of the idea.
"You wouldn't believe the mail I get," Tortorella said. "Just stop sending me mail about tanking. There's no such thing as professional athletes tanking. They would not be able to live with themselves if they went home and did something to try to disturb an outcome of a game. It is asinine. Just don't bring up that subject. It's wrong."
While he understands the fans' desire to draft a player like Connor Bedard, Tortorella said he wanted to rebuild the team while also implementing a good culture. He doesn't want to tempt fate by angering the mythological "hockey gods."
"There are hockey gods too," Tortorella said. "They're there. You go about your business the right way each and every day. You look yourself in the mirror and you say, 'Did I give everything?' You live with the circumstance. Eventually, if you do it the right way, you're gonna come out on the right side of it. You would not believe my mail. It's crazy. I appreciate the want of winning and getting back to where we want to be. You don't do it by tanking. You do it the way we're gonna do it here."
In its last four games, Philadelphia has gone 3-0-1, which has resulted in the team hurting its chances to land the No. 1 overall pick. Still, the Flyers have a decent chance to win the draft lottery, and Totorella isn't about to let his team slack off anyway.