Tortorella on Gauthier rejecting Flyers: 'Then we don't want you'
The Philadelphia Flyers made headlines Monday night when they traded promising forward prospect Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenceman Jamie Drysdale and a 2025 second-round draft pick.
Gauthier, whom the Flyers selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, was fresh off helping the United States capture gold at the recent World Junior Hockey Championship in Sweden and was seemingly part of Philadelphia's future.
However, following the announcement of the trade on Monday, Flyers general manager Daniel Briere told the media that Gauthier had informed the organization he changed his mind and no longer wanted to play for the Flyers.
"He looked at us at the draft and told us he was built to be a Flyer, wanted to be a Flyer, and maybe a few months later told us that he didn't want to be a Flyer,” remarked Briere.
Briere added the organization kept Gauthier's decision quiet in case he changed he mind back to wanting to play for the Flyers, but eventually had to pull the trigger on a trade.
"When we realized that they refused to talk to us, now it's been months, and he didn't want to be a Flyer. He didn't want to be in Philadelphia. It was time to make it happen," said Briere.
Gauthier, a 19-year-old left winger, scored two goals and 10 assists over seven games at the World Juniors and has netted 13 goals with 10 assists over 17 games with Boston College in 2023-24, his second season with the school.
"Then, we don't want you," Tortorella quipped when asked about his reaction to Gauthier's apparent disinterest in playing for the Flyers.
"I don't know Cutter from a hole in the wall. I'm not too interested in talking about him. I rather talk about Jamie. He's the guy that's coming here."
A native of Toronto, the 21-year-old Drysdale has scored eight goals and 37 assists in 123 career games over four seasons with the Ducks after Anaheim selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Drysdale, who helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2020 World Juniors and silver in 2021, has one goal and four assists over 10 games this season with the Ducks. He returned to Anaheim's lineup a few days before Christmas after missing considerable time with a lower-body injury suffered in the second game of the season.
Through 40 games, the Flyers own a record of 20-14-6 and sit in the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia hasn't made the playoffs since 2020.