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Tortorella Apologizes For Winter Classic Post-Game Comments

from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,

John Tortorella is still facing an NHL fine but before taking questions after his Rangers practiced today, the coach asked the media for a few minutes to address his post-game comments from Monday’s 3-2 win over the Flyers in the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.

After the victory, Tortorella, angered by some late game penalties and non-calls, particularly a penalty shot awarded to the Flyers Daniel Briere with 19.6 seconds remaining in regulation, suggested during his post-game press conference that the NHL and NBC met to see if they could take the game to overtime.

Tortorella issued a wide-ranging apology for what he called his “tongue-in-cheek” comments and lamented that he “tainted” a “first-class operation” in the Winter Classic “with my mouth.”

continued

added 7:57pm, Numerous reports are a $30,000 fine for Tortorella.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella

Comments

bezukov's avatar

Class move by Tortorella.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/04/12 at 03:37 PM ET

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Comcast has allready made the fearless coach fearful.  wonderful.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/04/12 at 03:49 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I don’t know.  I sort of see Torts as snickering under his “apology.”  He’ll wait till he gets back in the dressing room and has a laugh at it.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 01/04/12 at 04:05 PM ET

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I sort of see Torts as snickering under his “apology.”

Good.  He was clearly pressured to apologize and is just doing it to appease people in the league.  I would rather that he not apologize at all, but a disingenuous “f*ck you” apology is fine by me.  He was (rightly) pissed off at the officiating and he said so.  If you don’t want a coach or players speaking their minds during post-game press conferences then what’s the point of having them?

Posted by Garth on 01/04/12 at 04:20 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Word, Garth.  And in the background behind Torts are the NHL front office lemmings going, “What the fuch just happened?”

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 01/04/12 at 04:24 PM ET

Moq's avatar

Critical remarks is one thing. Implying a rigged game is another.

Regardless of apology, I would suspend Tortorella for a couple of games and add a hefty fine for bringing the game in disrepute.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 01/04/12 at 04:36 PM ET

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Regardless of apology, I would suspend Tortorella for a couple of games and add a hefty fine for bringing the game in disrepute.

How about suspensions and fines for the terrible refereeing that could’ve cost the Rangers the game?

Posted by Garth on 01/04/12 at 04:42 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Yeah, there’s nothing quite as comforting as harshly punishing sedition.

I hope Tortorella was blinking “*#$%@& you” in morse code the entire time he was giving his apology.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/04/12 at 04:43 PM ET

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Critical remarks is one thing. Implying a rigged game is another.
Posted by Moq from Denmark on 01/04/12 at 02:36 PM ET

Did you watch the last ten minutes of that game?

No one i know who watched the game disagree with Torts on this. And i dont know any Ranger fans.  Yeah, i get that as a coach he isnt supposed to talk publicly about this stuff, but the league needed no help from him to bring disrepute to that game.

Posted by jwad on 01/04/12 at 05:02 PM ET

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Critical remarks is one thing. Implying a rigged game is another.

what if the implied is true?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/04/12 at 05:26 PM ET

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How about suspensions and fines for the terrible refereeing that could’ve cost the Rangers the game?

Posted by Garth on 01/04/12 at 02:42 PM ET

wouldn’t that be the day? These things might happen, but it has to be behind closed doors. The only penalty that appears to happen to refs is taking away playoff assignments. But how can we really know? You can’t tell players/fans/coaches that a particular ref was fined or suspended because of something, that ref would never get the respect of any player again. If they would tell everyone about it they might as well just fire the ref.

I definitely agree that they have to be held liable though. If something as horrible as fixing a game was happening the ref would definitely be fired. Not sure the NHL would let it be known or not though…lots of things to ponder…

Posted by pstumba on 01/04/12 at 05:37 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

what if the implied is true?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/04/12 at 03:26 PM ET

Innuendo ≠ evidence.

Critical remarks is one thing. Implying a rigged game is another.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 01/04/12 at 02:36 PM ET

I agree 100%.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/04/12 at 05:55 PM ET

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Critical remarks is one thing. Implying a rigged game is another.

Letting off steam is a completely different animal than genuinely accusing someone of rigging a game.

Also, how can one NOT at least entertain the thought that there was something fishy with the way that third period was called.

Hell, in the original criticism, Tortorella acknowledges that both refs were good before saying that it was a horribly refereed game (and the third period, at least, definitely was).

To not be able to let off steam is ridiculous.  He was justifiably pissed about the refing and he shouldn’t be reprimanded for saying so.

Posted by Garth on 01/04/12 at 06:20 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

To not be able to let off steam is ridiculous.  He was justifiably pissed about the refing and he shouldn’t be reprimanded for saying so.

Posted by Garth on 01/04/12 at 04:20 PM ET

Citing conspiracy and citing bad calls aren’t the same.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/04/12 at 06:31 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t care if he did imply the game was rigged. It’s a question a lot of fans had and a question I want addressed by the league.

If the refereeing was just bad instead of intentionally biased, then what are the NHL’s steps to correct this issue in the future?

I don’t care anymore about chasing down innuendo about the integrity of the game. Nobody’s mind is going to be changed until somebody ACTUALLY gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar and the sport takes a HUGE hit.  The issue remains that the Winter Classic was not well-reffed and whether or not Tortorella deserves to be treated like a criminal for being justifiably angry about it doesn’t do anything to address the fact that NO game, let alone the Winter Classic should EVER be reffed like that.

If it really is a case of Ian Walsh being “only human” and “having made a mistake” like the apologists say it is, then fine. I’m only human and I make mistakes; when that happens, I take punishment for it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/04/12 at 06:32 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Oh, the travesty.  It’s just so hard to wrap my head around the league strongly suggesting to its above-board officials that a penalty shot, OT, maybe a shootout would be just the devices we need to welcome NBC to the circle jerk we like to call the NHL family.

Or the other way around, of course, that the network is already calling the shots while Gary sits back sucking down a YooHoo raking in the cash and the praise from the owners who have already proven their allegiance to “the game” is non-existent.

Yeah, Torts. Class move.  Class move to issue a forced apology and then throw up in your mouth a little.  We all get shit sandwiches shoved down our throats from time to time. This was his.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 01/04/12 at 08:25 PM ET

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This apology is about expediency not class.

It would be a classy move by the NHL to announce that a penalty should have been called on the Gaborik breakaway late in the 3rd.  It’s been done before.  Last month, a Canuck goal was scored where the goalie was run by a Canuck just prior to the shot.  The NHL announced the next day that the official erred and the goal shouldn’t have counted. 

Torts was right in the first place - the big show was tainted by poor officiating.

Posted by Jerry on 01/04/12 at 08:40 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

The officiating in the NHL is at best inadequate. I chose that word over inept , incompetent, or corrupted.  The excuse always given is that it is a fast game, etc, they are doing their best, etc. Well, it…is…not…good ....enough. Technology is available to get more calls correct to help out these “officials” with their “difficult” job. Morning after morning the screams come forth from every corner of fandom with complaint and criticism. Isn’t that a clue? Screw the “human element” argument. The players and coaches provide enough for all of us, the LAST place I want “the human element” is for calls on the ice. Maybe inept would be better…..

Posted by Rdwings28 on 01/04/12 at 09:55 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Torts fined $30K for the comments.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/04/12 at 09:56 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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