NHL coach bans iPads from bench: ‘It is a major problem’

 

Who needs technology? Not the Philadelphia Flyers.

John Tortorella is notorious for his old-school approach in today’s hockey, and he’s continuing that standard on the bench.

He told reporters after Wednesday’s Flyers game that the team will no longer have iPads, as he feels they are actually a distraction, and would rather focus on the game in real time.

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Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella, standing, watches the game against the New Jersey Devils at Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 13, 2022, in Philadelphia.
(Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

“We took the video off the bench,” said Tortorella. “We don’t have them on the bench anymore. I just want them worrying about the next shift. I think it is a major problem with us understanding momentums of the game. You can not understand momentums of the game if you are looking at the iPad all the time. So, we took them off, we are not even going to use them, so they watch the game and see what is next.”

Tortorella called out Travis Konecny as someone who “looks at that damn thing all the time.”

Naturally, without the iPad at his disposal, he netted a hat trick in the Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella watches the game against the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 9, 2023, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
(Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

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“Everyone was chirping me because I’m always watching them,” Konecny said. “But I don’t care.”

The Flyers are in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division amid their rebuild. However, the iPad ban may be working — they’ve won six of their last seven as well as seven of their last 10 contests.

The Flyers have not made the playoffs since the 2019-2020 season — Tortorella is in his first season with the Flyers, having previously coached the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Head coach John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets talks to the media following Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series on April 16, 2019, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
(Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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He won the 2004 Stanley Cup with the Lightning and is the first American-born coach to win 500 games.