Insider: Tortorella's "Hard Feelings" Led Flyers To Waive Johansen

Part of the deal for the Philadelphia Flyers to land a first-round pick (2025) and a fifth-rounder from the Colorado Avalanche for impending UFA Sean Walker was that they had to take the Avs' salary dump of Ryan Johansen as well. But Philly immediately placed him on waivers, and now we're learning the real reason why: 

Per insider Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts podcast, head coach John Tortorella's "complicated history" with Johansen (he played for Torts with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the past) and the coach's "hard feelings" towards the agent of a prospect that bailed on the Flyers earlier this season, all were part of Johansen's being immediately dumped by Philly. 

As for Torts' relationship with Johansen, when the former No. 4 overall pick was having a brutal first half of the season in Columbus in 2015-16, Tortorella singled him out, and Johansen wasn't "feeling the love" from his coach and was eventually traded later that season. 

As well, it turns out that Johansen's agent, Kurt Overhardt, is also the agent for Flyers' recent No. 5 overall pick Cutter Gauthier, who refused to sign with Philly and forced his way into a trade earlier this season (Philly received Jamie Drysdale from the Anaheim Ducks in return). Tortorella is none too pleased with the agent, and it all added up to a lot of bad blood.

Friedman did add that he believed that "there was some attempt at reconciliation" by Johansen after the trade, and that he "indicated that he would like to make it work," but then, out of the blue, it was also revealed yesterday that, even though he cleared waivers, Johansen might not report to their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley due to his "battling something".

Photo: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports