Flyers coach John Tortorella: Joel Farabee's agent 'should just shut up'
Tortorella sticking with Farabee, says the winger's agent 'should just shut up' originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
VOORHEES, N.J. — During his team's morning skate Friday, John Tortorella acted coy about an eyebrow-raising report regarding his young winger Joel Farabee.
But he was coy for only so long.
A day prior, Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli reported that Farabee's camp (presumably the player's agent) had voiced its displeasure to the Flyers as to how this season has unfolded under Tortorella.
Farabee has had a tough year trying to return to form after unexpectedly having to undergo disc replacement surgery in his cervical region during late June. Now mired in an 18-game goalless slump, Farabee played just 8:53 minutes per game over the Flyers' last three games, a stretch that included an in-game benching.
When the report of Farabee's representation being frustrated was brought to his attention, Tortorella said it was the first time he had heard of it.
"This is news to me," the head coach said. "Is his agent popping off? Is that what it is? He's popping off in the media that he's pissed off about Joel? Oh, for God's sake. They should just shut up."
Farabee is represented by Shawn Hunwick, according to PuckPedia.com.
"The agent should just stay out of the business," Tortorella said.
In mid-December, Tortorella said he wasn't going to let Farabee "hide behind his injury." Farabee didn't make excuses, either.
The soon-to-be 23-year-old has never been a complainer or an excuse-maker with the Flyers. In fact, from various accounts, he has been lauded for his maturity and advanced game ever since his 19-year-old rookie year.
In light of Thursday's report, Farabee's name suddenly surfaced at No. 20 on Seravalli's top-50 trade target list ahead of the March 3 deadline.
Farabee is in the first year of a six-year, $30 million contract. He is not expected to be traded.
"I saw it on Twitter," Farabee said of the report. "I think this time of the year, with the trade deadline and all that stuff, a lot of people love to say whatever they want on Twitter and stuff gets taken the wrong way.
"For me right now, I'm 100 percent committed to being a Flyer, I love being here, I love playing for the city. That's all I'm really focused on. None of that stuff is up to me anyways. All I can really focus on is the game tonight and that's where my head's at.
"I think you see stuff on Twitter, people start tweeting other stuff — it goes down a rabbit hole on Twitter. I wouldn't read too much into that."
The Flyers host the Canadiens tonight (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP). Farabee will look to find a spark offensively. Despite his offseason training taking a massive hit because of the neck surgery, Farabee has not missed any games this season.
"He has played through it. High marks," Tortorella said. "I give him credit for coming back as quickly [as he did]. I don't think he's hurt. But he did not have an offseason to get ready. That's where you make your gains.
"In any stretch, I have not given up on Joel Farabee. I think it's really hard to make an evaluation on him this year."
Farabee has nine goals, 17 assists and a minus-3 mark in 59 games.
"Just trying to keep my strength up," Farabee said of the challenges this season. "Missing the whole summer of lifting, it was tough, but it's no excuse. My play hasn't been good and I'm fully aware of that.
"I put a lot of my pressure on myself to be a good player on this team and to help out. And right now I'm not. Definitely some mental challenges, too, but for me, you can't look at that, you can't look at the big picture. All I'm really focusing on is tonight.
"I've been put in a lot of good spots, no complaints there. You see all that stuff on Twitter, I was reading some of it, people think that I'm complaining about ice time and all that stuff. It's not true at all. Honestly, I don't think my opportunity has been limited at all. I just need to play better. That's the bottom line."
In the shortened 56-game 2020-21 season, Farabee blossomed for a team-leading 20 goals to go along with 18 assists.
"He's a really important guy because I think it gives you another offensive guy that can help you out maybe on a couple of lines, trying to get two offensive lines as we push forward here," Tortorella said. "I still hold that thought. It has been a struggle. I've kind of left him alone and try to let him work out of it. I think he has been inconsistent. But he's going to keep on playing and we'll see where we go with it.
"There's not going to be anything for free. And I really don't give a damn what his agent said."
Farabee's focus is Philly.
"I love playing here, I love the city, my dad's from here," he said. "A lot of family ties and things like that. I have no complaints. I really love playing here."
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