Hear from Flyers General Manager Daniel Briere at 2024 break up day.

Flyers head coach John Tortorella and general manager Danny Briere conducted their end-of-season press conferences on Friday at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees. Each one spoke for more than 30 minutes apiece, covering a wide range of topics from the 2023-24 season to the outlook for the offseason and beyond.

Here are five of the most essential takeaways from the two sessions.

1. Briere: I'm very proud of how the team handled themselves

With the exception of the Nashville Predators (against whom the team went 0-1-1), the Flyers defeated every team in the NHL at least once during the 2023-24 season. That is an impressive accomplishment over the course of an 82-game season.

The Flyers were particularly strong in games against clubs that finished in first place or second place in their respective divisions, including a 2-1-0 record against the Florida Panthers (first place in the Atlantic, reigning Eastern Conference champions), 1-2-1 against the New York Rangers (first in the Metro), 1-0-1 against the Dallas Stars (first in the Central) and 2-0-0 against the Vancouver Canucks (first in the Pacific).

Additionally, the Flyers were 2-0-0 against the Winnipeg Jets, 1-1-0 against the Edmonton Oilers, 1-2-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes and 1-2-0 against the Boston Bruins.

Combined, this represented a record of 11-8-3 against the very best competition that the NHL had to offer this season.

"I'm very proud of how the team handled themselves this season. The players, the coaching staff. It's been impressive. Now, I know we focus a lot on the last two weeks, the (eight-game) slide, and not getting into the playoffs. It would have been awesome to get into the playoffs. Believe me, that's a big disappointment.... but there's a lot of good strides that were made from a lot of different players this season," Briere said.

2. Tortorella: I'm as energized as I've ever been

Contrary to recent rumors in the hockey media, Tortorella has no intention this offseason of retiring this summer from coaching or stepping into a front office role in the immediate future. The issue was already addressed recently by Briere, president of hockey operations Keith Jones and Comcast Spectacor CEO and Flyers governor Dan Hilferty.

On Friday, Tortorella himself reaffirmed his commitment to return for his third season as Flyers head coach.

"I'm as energized as I've ever been," said Tortorella, who will turn 66 next month. "This team here, the organization. I love working here. I'm already thinking about next season."

Looking back at this season, Tortorella said that saw a lot of progress both on (much improved 5-on-5 structure, playing with pace, penalty killing, etc.) and off (the locker room cohesion and unity) the ice. That, however, made the sting of missing out on the playoffs that much more acute.

"I'm a little frustrated that I couldn't get our team to close the deal," Tortorella said. "It was a concern of mine, with about 25 games left, 'Can we stay with it?' I think it's my job to get it to the end. I think our team fought hard to the end. I just did not close the deal. 'Was the messaging right at certain times?' There's a lof of things that run through my mind as a coach."

Prior to the press conferences, Tortorella was part of a Hockey Ops meeting to do some preliminary planning.

"I just spent an hour with Danny, we just spent a half hour with (development coach) Patrick Sharp and some of our analytics guys on certain players that we think we can help. I am totally in until Danny says to get the hell out of here."

This weekend, Tortorella will accompany Briere and other members of the Hockey Operations staff to Allentown to watch the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Ian Laperriere's team clinched a Calder Cup playoff spot on Friday with a 3-0 shutout win over the Bridgeport Islanders on Friday evening.

Next week, Tortorella will sit down with Briere and others to go through player evaluations and provide input on offseason planning strategy. Tortorella said on Friday that there has not yet been enough time since the regular season finale to get into the nuts-and-bolts of discussing individual players.

Hear from Flyers head coach John Tortorella at 2024 break up day.

3. Briere: We're open for business

Briere laid out a very rough sketch of how he envisions his approach for the 2024 offseason. Last summer, with Tortorellla's input, the Flyers subtracted several veteran players that the organization either felt did not fit with the vision and/or the timeline for the rebuilding approach for the long haul. The Flyers focused on bringing in character players to "backfill" (as Tortorella often described it) some of the vacancies.

Briere said on Friday that he does not see subtraction/backfilling per se as central immediate goals for the offseason.

"That doesn't mean there won't be some changes... We're open for business. If there are hockey trades that make sense, we will (do that). But we aren't looking to move people for the sake of moving them," Briere said.

The general manager said that he's not anticipating getting heavily involved in the free agent market this season. He will explore trades and free agents who can fill particular needs such as how center Ryan Poehling added speed and two-way play and winger Garnet Hathaway brought more grit and tenacity to the club.

"There's a lot things you have to look at," Briere said, noting that players' ages and contract parameters have to fit the rebuild timeline as well as their skill sets.

The general manager identified a couple of players he does not anticipate bringing back for the 2024-25 season. One was veteran defenseman Marc Staal. Another was forward Denis Gurianov. Both are impending unrestricted free agents. Regarding veteran winger Cam Atkinson, Briere indicated that no decision has been made yet. Atkinson, who will turn 35 in June, has one season remaining on his contract.

4. Tortorella: Our power play can't be as bad as it was

In each of the last three seasons, the Flyers power play has ranked last (32nd) in the NHL. It's a problem that predates the arrival of Rocky Thompson last season as the team's forwards and power play coach.

Things hit rock bottom in 2023-24. The Flyers' 12.2 percent success rate on the power play set an unwanted franchise record. The official previous low-water mark was the 12.6 percent the team posted in 2021-22 (with Michel Therrien and, later, John Torchetti coaching the power play). Based on box-score research, the unofficial all-time previous low was in the inaugural 1967-68 season (12.3 percent).

"Our power play cannot be as bad as it was this year with the people we had. So we have to look at ourselves with this here,' Tortorella said on Friday.

Tortorella said that there is no plan to replace Thompson as power play coach. The plan is to take a collaborative approach seeing input from in-half staff who had considerable power play success during their own NHL playing careers, such Sharp, John LeClair, pro scout Dany Heatley and general manager Briere himself.

"I think we need to have a discussion on our power play, but Rocky Thompson is one hell of a coach. He's so frustrated, as the players are, as we all are, with our power play. And I've got a general manager that was one of the best power play guys in the game. So we're going to sit as an organization with those people and just discuss it this summer. I think it's a big point of emphasis for us, our power play," Tororella said.

The coach added that 3-on-3 play and 4-on-4 play are also areas that need to improve, and will need to be incorporated into more practices next season (as they were periodically in the sporadic late-season practice time available recently).

"These are also special teams," Tortorella said. "I think I made a mistake this year on our 3-on-3 and our 4-on-4 that we did not practice it enough,"It's sometimes hard to practice because you've got other things going on and sometimes that just may be a couple of minutes of the game, but I think it's so important. I think I failed the team this year that we did not do enough work on that."

The Flyers were outscored at 4-on-4 this season by a 5-2 margin, with most of the problems arising from the Stadium Series through the stretch drive. Things got to the point where getting through two-minute 4-on-4 segments without getting scored upon was a small victory of sorts. That is why a bit of 4-on-4 time was worked into a couple of latter season practices.

At 3-on-3, which is almost exclusively featured in sudden death overtime, the Flyers scored four goals and yielded eight. The Flyers were actually much improved in shootouts (and in regulation penalty shots, too) this season but winning in overtime or getting the game to a shootout was a struggle.

5. Briere: The plan with Ers and Ivan

Both Tortorella and Briere addressed the effects that the mid-season departure of Carter Hart and late-season addition Ivan Fedotov had on the team in 2023-24. Ultimately, there was no choice but put a very heavy workload (2,809 minutes played) on Ersson and thrust Fedotov directly into game action with scarcely any practice time or opportunity to even break in his all-new equipment.

"Sam Ersson was thrown in a really tough situation this year, I've been really impressed with him, the way he handled it, He started challenging Carter for starts, which was amazing to see. He wasn't stealing the starts and it's not because Carter was playing bad; he just earned them. After that, it was a really tough situation for him, to lose his partner and to have to play almost every other night. Down the stretch, it got a bit difficult," Breire said.

Tortorella added that he knew beforehand that he was putting Fedotov into an almost impossible situation in his two relief appearances on one start. However, there really wasn't much alternative with Ersson overworked down the stretch and other backup options (Cal Petersen and Felix Sandström) having struggled before being reassigned to the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Both Briere and Tortorella expressed confidence that with a full summer of training and getting settled into the off-ice and on-ice routines, Fedotov will be able to help solidify the backup role come next season. In the meantime, the organization will closely monitor the progress of goalie prospect Alexei Kolosov.

This plan is not, of course, set in stone. However, it's the operational plan as of now.

"Something could change (in camp or next season), especially with the history of this organization with goaltending," Briere said, half-jokingly. "It seems there's always some drama there, but it would be nice to get away from the drama."