Cutter Gauthier received death threats for not wanting to play for Flyers, says he wouldn’t wish them on ‘worst enemy’

Since he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, Cutter Gauthier has been pilloried in some circles, with social media-fueled attacks on his character after the Philadelphia Flyers effectively said good riddance to their former award candidate.

Gauthier answered questions Wednesday about the stunning deal, which saw the Flyers trade the 19-year-old Boston College standout and recent U.S. World Junior gold medal winner to the Ducks for young defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a second-round pick of the 2025 draft.

The reaction to news of Gauthier’s recent dealings with Philadelphia — or perhaps lack thereof — has been so toxic that Gauthier said he has received death threats via social media. Most of the questions Gauthier faced centered on a simple one: Why didn’t he want to play for the Flyers?

“That’s the question everyone is asking, and the most important thing I can say right now is that I have to keep it to myself, to my family and to my agent,” Gauthier said. “It has been a long process dealing with this situation over the last few months. I don’t think this is the right time to discuss this. There may be a day when I go into detail about what happened. At this time, I want to keep this a private matter.

During a 30-minute phone call with local reporters, Gauthier said his head was spinning in the two days following the trade, and he stressed that he was excited to join Anaheim after his college season ended. He also referenced death threats when describing the visceral reactions he received.

“There’s been a lot of good and bad,” he said. “A 19-year-old kid getting a bunch of death threats and a bunch of thousands and thousands of people reaching out and just saying pretty poor things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, it’s pretty hard to see, obviously. But it’s It’s a deal. With all the rumors that are spreading that aren’t true, it’s kind of hard to go out and say a word or something to calm those people down.

“But, you know, people are going to have opinions. People will say things. I can’t tell them to have an opinion or not. “The last 48 hours have definitely been a bit of a stressful situation.”

Expanding on the threats he has received, Gauthier said: “My (direct messages) right now and Instagram are pretty crazy about what people are saying. There were thousands and thousands of messages. I still get five, ten minutes ago. And it’s quite cruel what people say.

“I really didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I was just looking at a situation, I would say kind of a bird’s eye view. I thought it was best for me to make the decision I made. Obviously some people won’t be happy about this. I’m not here to please everyone. I’m here to do what’s best for me and my future. I felt that was what I had done. Obviously, people aren’t going to be very happy about it. “Yeah, some pretty cruel things people say.”

While he understood the interest that would follow in the aftermath of the exchange, Gauthier admits that it was difficult for him to stay away from his cell phone and social media. But there was support despite the backlash.

“It’s a little difficult when everything is right there in your face,” he said. “You open Twitter and you see my name and every account of what’s going on and everyone has their own opinions. It’s a little hard not to stay away from it completely.

“As I said before, it’s a business. People will say things, especially in the situation we’re in right now. It’s a little difficult to know the real reason and see people putting out all these false statements. Still not being able to really express what really happened. It was a little difficult, but it was also nice. A group of people contacted me.

“You can definitely see who your circle of friends is in situations like this. “It was definitely positive for the most part and obviously a handful of negative things from Flyers fans.”

In the time since the trade, Gauthier said he has gone back and forth on whether to fully explain what happened in moving from the No. 1 pick. 5 of the Flyers in the 2022 NHL Draft when he requested a trade from them last April after his freshman season with the Eagles. I have opted for privacy confidentiality.

“I’ve seen all the rumors that are spreading right now,” he said. “It’s kind of funny what people are saying right now. I don’t think I saw a single thing that was said that was accurate about why any of this happened. “People like to talk, people like to make things up, and other people like to listen.”

Another aspect of the trade that Gauthier has tried to dispel is the notion that he didn’t want to play for Flyers coach John Tortorella. She said her interaction with him was positive.

“All those rumors that said I was afraid of wrongs, that’s not true at all,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of (tough) coaches throughout my life and I think any coach I play for would want to have me on their team. I want to do whatever it takes to win. If I’m a tough, yelling, screaming type of coach, I’ll roll with the punches. I will never disrespect or talk back to a coach. I will give my all in every single round. That definitely wasn’t the reason I didn’t want to play in Philadelphia.

“I actually met Torts during development camp two years ago. I was super excited and excited to meet him. Obviously, being a big name in hockey and the coaching staff industry, I was absolutely not against playing for him.”

And while he stayed away from details about the Flyers and his dealings with them, Gauthier specifically took issue with St. Louis Blues forward Kevin Hayes being described as someone who influenced his desire to play elsewhere. Hayes, who played with the Flyers from 2020-23, is a former BC player who Gauthier has gotten to know well.

“I’ve seen all the rumors going around that Kevin Hayes has his fingerprints on this,” Gauthier said. “I want to make it clear that he had nothing to do with any of this. He has absolutely nothing (to do with it). Some of the people who say these things about his family and stuff like that are pretty gutless. He has no fingerprints on this.

«I haven’t spoken to him in a long time. I just wanted to clarify that. It’s not just his word against everyone else’s. I wanted to make sure that (you know) he was absolutely not involved in this matter. It’s a little disrespectful to him and his name that he was involved in all of this.”

The Ducks made the trade with the strong belief and understanding that Gauthier would sign with them after completing his second season with the Eagles, who are the top-ranked hockey team. Gauthier said that’s his plan and that his NHL debut could still happen if the Eagles play for the NCAA title, as Anaheim will play its season finale five days after the championship game. He said he is in contact with current Ducks forwards Troy Terry and Leo Carlsson.

But the prospect of him playing his first game in Philadelphia will have to wait as the Ducks have already made their lone visit in October. When asked what the first game at the Wells Fargo Center will be like, Gauthier said “chaotic.”

“I marked that (future) date on my calendar big time,” he continued. “I can’t wait to go out there and play my game in front of those fans and do my thing. “I can’t wait for that game.”

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(Photo: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)