Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella did not hold back when asked about forward Travis Konecny’s omission from the NHL All-Star Game. Tortorella made it very clear he and the All-Star event don’t mix.
“Oh, I don’t worry about that sh—” Tortorella said. “The whole game, the whole weekend, I don’t even watch it. I think it’s turned into a… I’ll leave it at that. I really don’t care.”
Konecny and goaltender Carter Hart were strong All-Star candidates, but forward Kevin Hayes was the lone Flyer to get the nod when rosters were unveiled Thursday.
An emotional Hayes, who’s put up 10 goals and 25 assists in 38 games so far this season, said the All-Star selection is an achievement his late brother Jimmy always wanted for him.
“It’s a cool situation for me because — not to get emotional — but it’s probably the only thing my brother said to me when I started playing hockey and that he wanted me to accomplish,” he said after collecting three points in the Flyers’ 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. “I never honestly thought it would happen, but it did and it’s cool. I know my family is really excited.”
He said Jimmy’s young son, Beau, “will be with me the whole time, so it’ll be an extra-special experience.”
Hayes, who was made a healthy scratch by Tortorella earlier this season, was named over Konecny, the team’s leading scorer. Konecny was thrilled for Hayes, who will make his first All-Star appearance.
“It’s awesome. Kevin’s been great in this league for a long time, and done a lot of good things,” said Konecny, who was an All-Star in 2020. “I mean, he deserves to be there. He’s been carrying a lot of the offense for most of this year. Everyone’s happy for him.”
When pressed if Konecny was deserving, Tortorella said, “I really don’t care about All-Star stuff” and left the press conference. Konecny still has a chance to make it as the Metropolitan Division will add two skaters and a goalie based on fan voting.
Back in 2017, Tortorella had been named to coach the Metropolitan Division when his Columbus Blue Jackets ranked first in the league. He withdrew days before the festivities because of a family emergency.
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