NHL

Flyers’ Tanner Laczynski smiles as a first-time dad

Flyers’ Tanner Laczynski smiles as a first-time dad

VOORHEES, NJ – If Tanner Laczynski was tired, he hid it well as he sat in his locker Monday for the first time as a father.

Lack of sleep or NHL pressure didn’t matter.

He was a father. And all smiles.

The 25-year-old Flyers center and his wife Madison welcomed their first child, a boy named Leo, over the weekend. He was born at 12:28 a.m. on Saturday, October 29 at eight pounds and two ounces.

“Big guy,” Laczynski said.

After battling injuries the past two seasons, Laczynski earned a role in the Flyers’ 2022-23 lineup on the fourth line. He recorded his first career NHL point with a pair of assists in the club’s season opener, a 5-2 win on October 13 over the Devils.

John Tortorella would not have him in the lineup Thursday or Saturday. After the first six games, Laczynski missed the Flyers’ final two when his wife went into labor.

“We remember what we’re doing. We’re cheerleaders. It’s a sport,” Tortorella said Monday after practice. “There was no way he was coming back here. Everyone is excited for him, excited for his wife. I know it was a long night for her. These things are more important than anything: your family.”

Laczynski appreciated the boss telling her to go with her.

“It was awesome,” Laczynski said. “He said, ‘Be with your family, that’s the most important thing.’

“There’s so much going on in the league, you’re always so busy that you don’t usually get that time. It was nice to have two or three days off to be there for my wife and our beautiful boy.”

Laczynski’s teammates had him leading stretches after practice. They touched their sticks and then forced Travis Sanheim into the center of the stretch circle next to Laczynski. The 26-year-old defender recently committed.

“I’m glad the guys got a chance to recognize them,” Tortorella said.

“We forget, we get caught up in winning and losing and all that stuff. It’s not as important as what Tanner went through, him and his family.”

Laczynski wasn’t sure how much sleep he had gotten over the past few days.

“Not as much as I’d like,” he said with a laugh. “But, no, it was good. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with them and help my wife.

“I’m glad she’s healthy, the baby is healthy and everything went well.”

Any advice for your fellow dads?

“Here and there,” Laczynski said. “They always say whatever you read or look up, they said throw it out the window, go with your gut, you’ll know what to do when he’s here.”

Laczynski, a 2016 sixth-round draft pick, he was a four-year college product. He met his wife at Ohio State.

“I am blessed to have a beautiful son now,” she said. “It’s been great.”

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