Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: john tortorella
from James Duthie of TSN,
I get asked about Tortorella more than anyone else. He is the poster boy for how opposite a personality a man can have when he isn't in front of the microphones every night defending his power play. When he was at TSN, Torts was church-boy polite. Shy almost. He would struggle not to doze off during the double-headers because his usual bedtime is 9pm. Our top-ten lists show the one or two short clips when he got angry on the panel, ripping Sean Avery and The Quiz. The endless replays of those brief soundbites warp everyone's memory of the five months Torts spent with us. Reality is, he was mostly calm and quiet (to a fault for television), and said almost nothing controversial. Then he got the back behind the bench in New York, and later Vancouver, and...well we all watched it.
I checked in on Torts this week. He sounds happy (if you can actually "sound" something in a few texts), spending most of his time keeping up with the careers of his two grown children, and working with his wife on animal welfare causes (they have a house full of rescued dogs). I tried to ask a couple of hockey questions, but he chose not to answer, opting instead to just ask about my kids...and dogs. Wounds still too fresh, I assume.
This time of year tends to lend itself to all sorts of "reports" regarding fired and soon-to-be-fired coaches, and, as Sportsnet's Jeff Lowe noted, the Globe and Mail's Gary Mason leveled some pretty stiff assertions (via Twitter) regarding John Tortorella's misspent tenure with the Vancouver Canucks:
Some fascinating tidbits coming out about the brief Tortorella era in Vanc; including fact he wanted team to buy out Alex Burrows' contract.
Also hearing Torts didn't have a single convo with farm team head coach Travis Green all season; hard to imagine. #canucks
That would be Travis Green of the AHL's Utica Comets.
Also hearing players didn't feel Torts liked practicing enuf; he also accused David Booth of being late for team meeting he was early for
No coach perfect. And any time one departs under circumstances like Tort's then natural to expect some complaints/stories to later surface
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Yes, the Canucks should have seen this coming in September. But they were blinded by the other things they thought they saw in Tortorella. The iron hand. The unrelenting intensity. There was a belief the Canucks had grown soft and comfortable under Alain Vigneault and, under Torts’ watch, the easy ride would be over. And it was.
So was the winning.
Again, in retrospect, it was a gross insult to players like the Sedins, Luongo, Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, etc., etc., that they needed a drill sergeant to get the best out of them. Those players were committed professionals. They were responsible for the most successful run in Canucks history. And suddenly they were being told they didn’t care enough and we’re bringing in someone who’ll make you care.
It’s little wonder no one in senior management was taking responsibility for Tortorella’s hiring.
Again, if there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s a simple one. There are no shortcuts in hockey. There are no instant fixes. You succeed by hiring good people to make intelligent, well-informed decisions. You build a team both on and off the ice which reflect the game’s time-honoured values. In Trevor Linden, the Canucks have a man who has a chance to create that organization. But, after this season, it will take time. A lot of time.
In the end, Tortorella should have been a one-night stand for the Canucks; one moment of impulsiveness which should have been forgotten as quickly as the thought entered their mind. Instead, it turned into a bad marriage that will leave a lingering scar on this team. The Canucks might get better. You just wonder if they’ll ever be the same.
The Vancouver Canucks are making a coaching change.
According to TSN's Vancouver reporter Farhan Lalji, the Canucks will fire head coach John Tortorella Thursday, one season after taking over for Alain Vigneault.
Tortorella missed six games this season due to suspension after confronting the Calgary Flames after a line brawl in their Jan. 18 games against the Canucks. He was suspended 15 days and was barred from contacting the Cancuks' team before, during or after games after trying to enter the Flames' dressing room.
The Canucks went 2-4 over that six game stretch. They were fourth in the Pacific Division and held the first Western Conference wild card playoff berth at the time of the incident against Calgary.
Tortorella, who was in the first year of a five-year, $10 million contract, joined the Canucks after being fired as head coach of the New York Rangers last season.
John Tortorella is not very fond of Calgary's head coach Bob Hartley and is upset about the hit on Daniel Sedin...
A day after general manager Mike Gillis expressed doubt over his own future and that of his bench boss, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella wouldn't let himself be drawn into the speculation.
"Mike Gillis is my boss and I can't speak for Mike," said Tortorella of his boss's comments on Friday afternoon. "I don't know how to answer to him because I can't speak for him. I don't want to do that. Mike and I are always talking, but to answer that, I just can't. It's not fair to him or me."
Sitting six points out of the final Wild Card in the Western Conference with only five games to play, the Canucks are set to miss the playoffs for just the third time in 13 seasons and first time since 2008. Still, Tortorella expressed no interest in publicly discussing his team's and, by extension, his own future.
"You're digging at a spot I'd rather talk internally about," said Tortorella. "That's probably something we can talk about after the season is over. I have to worry about coaching a hockey team. We have five more games, a team that needs to better and that's my focus."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
John Tortorella, self-deprecating in a way he never once was in five years in New York, took the words out of everyone’s mouths Monday, which is not such an easy thing to do.
“What is fair?” the coach of the Canucks replied when asked if it is fair to draw any conclusions in comparing his team’s lack of success with the success the Rangers are experiencing under Alain Vigneault in Year 1 of the cultural exchange behind the benches of the two franchises. “You’re going to make your own opinion.
“It’s kind of a unique thing with me and Alain. I’m losing games so I’m an idiot and he’s winning games so he’s a smart guy. Rightfully so.”
The hits keep coming for the Canucks, per the Canadian Press...
Vancouver suffered another injury blow when centre Ryan Kesler left the game in the second period after a knee-on-knee collision with Jets centre Jim Slater. Canucks head coach John Tortorella said Kesler will be sent back to Vancouver for tests while his teammates keep travelling to games against Washington, Florida and Tampa Bay.
"He's going to get some imaging and we'll have a better indication of where he's at, but he's out for a while," Tortorella said.
Slater said he didn't intentionally try to hurt Kesler.
"I thought I had him lined up, he kind of bailed there at the last second there," Slater said. "I didn't stick my knee out or anything in his path, wasn't leading with my leg. I thought I actually took the worst of it. Obviously, if he's hurt bad, I feel bad about that. It wasn't any intent. I thought I had him lined up and at the last second he tried to jump out of the way."
And an NHL video provided by the Hockey News's Matt Larkin:
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Tortorella is in the crosshairs because of a 2-11-1 slide, his tunnel tirade to get to Bob Hartley that didn’t help morale and a preoccupation with push and pace. It has led to a rash of injuries and indifferent play and the inability to maintain consistency or have anything left in the tank.
Ryan Kesler, Daniel and Henrik Sedin rank first, seventh and ninth respectively in average ice time among all NHL forwards. Henrik is playing through bruised ribs, Daniel has a season-threatening hamstring ailment, and Kesler’s commando style invites injury. On top of that, the Canucks are 3-20-1 when trailing after two periods, have the 25th-ranked power play and 28th-ranked offence.
Those are fireable offences.
It’s probably why Tortorella held a heartfelt and lengthy post-practice talk with his players in the far corner of Rogers Arena. No yelling and screaming in trying to save the season — and his job.
“It’s about not giving in and the responsibility of being a professional,” Tortorella said of the exchange.
added 10:57am, from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Some strong words from Coach Tortorella post-game after a 2-0 loss to the Wings last night.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Tortorella talked to the media today after the Canucks skated this morning.
He addressed his suspension and then talked about the team, which is struggling at this point.
He says his team needs to be competitive, which it has not been lately.
Tortorella today after the monring skate in Detroit.
Tortorella does make his official return from suspension on Monday when Vancouver plays in Detroit.
NEW YORK (Jan. 20, 2014) – Vancouver Canucks Head Coach John Tortorella has been suspended for 15 days, without pay, for his actions during the first intermission of NHL Game No. 735 in Vancouver on Saturday, Jan. 18, the National Hockey League announced today.
"Mr. Tortorella's actions in attempting to enter the Calgary Flames locker room after the first period were both dangerous and an embarrassment to the League," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "Coaches in the NHL bear the responsibility of providing leadership, even when emotions run high, and Mr. Tortorella failed in his responsibility to the game."
Mr. Tortorella's suspension is effective retroactive to January 19 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 2. He will miss six games. He is not permitted to have any interaction with his Club prior to, during or after games.
NEW YORK (Jan. 20, 2014) – Calgary Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley has been fined $25,000 for his responsibility for the incident that took place off of the opening face-off of NHL Game No. 735 in Vancouver on Saturday, Jan. 18, the National Hockey League announced today. The fine was issued in accordance with By-Law 17.3 (a) for conduct prejudicial to or against the welfare of the League.
In issuing the suspension, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, Colin Campbell stated: "We are holding Mr. Hartley responsible for the actions of Flames' right wing Kevin Westgarth, who took the game's opening face-off and attempted to instigate a premeditated fight with an unwilling opponent -- the Canucks' Kevin Bieksa."
The fine money goes to the NHL Foundation.
Vancouver Caucks coach John Tortorella, issuing a fine slate of non-answers:
Thanks to the whole game-starting brawl and his own indiscretions, which TSN's Bob McKenzie believes will result in a fine and suspension for the coach who asked to not be "pushed," Tortorella kept it simple and composed, though one wonders why someone did not find a CF-18 to ensure that Larry Brooks could make it to Vancouver before the Canucks-Flames game ended...
Meanwhile, outside the Flames' locker room (via CalgaryFlames.com's Torie Peterson), Bob Hartley held court, and tossed off his own half-ton of BS:
After a player-brawl and coach-attempting-to-visit-opponents-scrap-filled 3-2 Vancouver Canucks shootout win over the Calgary Flames, coach John Tortorella played it by the book during his brief post-game presser:
He more or less built an impenetrable, "I'm not answering that" and/or, "I won't talk about fights with anyone who didn't play the game" facade (the latter, he did not say literally), with the initial summary of his comments reading as follows (and yes, he blamed Bob Hartley for starting 4th line versus...eventual 4th line):
As Paul noted, the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames got into quite the brawl to start their game off, and as the Flames left the ice, this happened:
That's John Tortorella visiting the Flames as they attempt to enter their locker room. I believe Mr. Tortorella will be suspended shorty, I mean shortly.
The New York Post's Larry Brooks penned a Sunday column which does include his usual amount of GM-playing, but his focus upon the New York Rangers' struggles involves the team's new coach, Alain Vigneault, more than potential unrestricted free agents:
The Rangers have gone from having a maniacal control freak and his equally maniacal assistant (in professional temperament, that is) in their ears and faces to a seemingly detached coach who leaves much of the work to the players themselves.
The maniacal control freak and assistant would be John Tortorella and Mike Sullivan, respectively.
I asked one player this week whether he had been shown video relating to a specific play on the ice. The response, not offered as a criticism but in a matter-of-fact manner, was, “He says what he says and then expects you to figure it out.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a coach unfavorably compare his team’s work ethic to another club’s the way Vigneault did last week in his evaluation of the Rangers and the Red Wings.
During the recent Rangers/Canucks game, both Tortorella and Vigneault were mic'd up.
Boy, when AV gets loud, his voice gets higher...
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
As long as John Tortorella coaches the Vancouver Canucks and Alain Vigneault coaches the Rangers, the comparisons will be inevitable.
The Rangers under the calm, cool Vigneault are loose and enjoying themselves. Last week on a swing through the South, the Rangers celebrated victories in Dallas and Nashville; Vigneault joked about his Johnny Cash man-in-black suit; and the players’ fathers were along for part of the trip. In Vancouver under Tortorella, it was all business, serious business. He defiantly explained why he said his team “sucked” after a loss; had a closed-door meeting after a win with David Booth, a player in his doghouse; and talked about the young forward Zack Kassian’s deficiencies after benching him in another loss. In the Canucks’ dressing room, Kassian looked scared.
“They’re both very good, but just different styles of coaches,” said Mike Gillis, the Canucks’ general manager, who arranged what amounted to a Vigneault-for-Tortorella swap last spring with Glen Sather, the Rangers’ general manager. “Alain’s style is what works for him, and it worked for us. John’s style is just different. Technically they’re both extremely sound. They just give direction differently, I guess.”
“I think the instigator rule takes out the honesty in the game. “I think the players need to police themselves. When you put that instigator rule in and you’re using all this supplementary discipline and all this crap that comes after, it needs to be taken care of right on the ice. I don’t think you’ll have that stuff ... the hitting from behind and the cheap stuff.
“We’ve taken too much of the game away from the players. The players are the ones who turn it into an honest-type game and we need to give that back to them. We never will — but we should.”
-John Tortorella, head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. More on Vancouver from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun.
“I know you are probably going to ask about 15 questions about shot blocking. Alex Burrows made the right play and if he doesn’t make that play, he’d probably never play a 5-on-3 again here. So don’t turn it into that. It was the right play to be made, and injuries happen in a lot of different ways, so we’ll continue to try to play defense – not just shot block.”
-Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella to the media after mentioning Alex Burrows will miss a couple of weeks. More from Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province.
CBC with a feature on John Tortorella,
Hybrid icing has been neither a cure-all nor a disaster.
In instances where there's a race for the puck and a defenseman has a clear advantage heading toward the faceoff dot, he no longer needs to fear someone trying to ram him into the end boards between the dot and the icing line. The play's simply blown dead.
In instances where teams nursing a lead hope to prey upon their opponents' desperation by pursuing iced pucks at Larry Murphy speed, burning clock until they reluctantly touch the puck, and in instances where teams desperate to tie the game find that the "attainable passing" rule's abolishment yields home-run passes that don't click wrecking precious seconds off the clock late in games, they can still "go for it."
Sportsnet presents part 2 of their sit down with Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella who discusses Roberto Luongo and his team philosophy.
If you missed part 1, you can watch it here.
John Tortorella sat down with James Cybulski of Sportsnet to talk the team, the city and dealing with the media.
Q: There has obviously been lots of talk here about Roberto Luongo and his state of mind. How much have you talked to him this summer and what can you tell us about those conversations?
A: I don’t want to get into specifics, but I have talked to Roberto four times. In fact, I just talked to him yesterday. I’ll tell you, from talking with him he has told me he is working very hard as far as conditioning and getting ready for this season. He knows there is a lot of talk and probably a lot of questions coming his way with how it all unfolded here. I think he’s prepared for that and the bottom line is he told me “I just want to play.” I think that is the most important thing, if there is some conflict or you are unhappy about certain things, the bottom line is and he understands it, is that he is playing for his teammates. Those are the most important people. I have done a lot of talking to people who have coached him and know him and there is just tremendous support for what kind of pro he is. You don’t have to be happy about a lot of different things. You can be really happy about this, unhappy about that, as long as you are ready to play. I think he gets that. So I am really excited about where he is mentally.
And negatively toward his former sparring partner at Rangers press conferences:
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
With his wife Christine and their four dogs, new Canucks coach John Tortorella is on his way to Vancouver. Sun hockey writer Brad Ziemer caught up with him Wednesday somewhere deep in the woods in Wisconsin. Their telephone conversation follows, with Tortorella’s comments on his latest discussion with Roberto Luongo, his disappointment about being left off the U.S. Olympic coaching staff, the need for the Canucks to get younger, and much more:
Q: I think most coaches usually use the summer to decompress. How has the fact you are coaching a new team and have to move across the continent changed your summer?
A: It has been a lot busier. Even before getting the new job, getting fired is always tough to take. You try to regroup, assess and now we are in the process of going coast to coast here. It has been very busy. There hasn’t been a lot of decompressing, that’s for sure.
Q: Are you at the point yet where you are counting the days until training camp?
A: I am ready to go. I kind of turned the page last week. My wife is telling me not to, but we have done a lot of work the past couple of weeks getting our training camp schedule straightened out. There were a number of different things I had to do in Vancouver versus New York where I had my own rink and facility. It’s a little bit different there, with UBC and all that. You turn your mind to it and I am just ready to go. I’m done with all the other stuff. It’s about gearing up for the season.
John Tortorella is doing a live Q & A session today, scheduled for 2:00pm ET.
You can watch it below...
“My job as a head coach of a hockey team is to push athletes to be the best they can be, to push them to areas where they don’t think they can get, that’s my job and I’m going to do that. “But let’s be honest, there’s a perception about me and some of the perception is put in an area where that’s all people think I am. I need to prove myself to the players that I’m not just that person and I think that’s going to be a relationship that grows. I want them to understand that I care, I care a lot about winning and losing, but I also care about the people and it’s my job to push people, but I also think it needs to be done in a respectable way and I don’t think a lot of people think it’s done that way, but really they don’t know what goes on in behind here.
“Right now I’m trying to figure out who the Vancouver Canucks are, I know they’ve been successful, but they’ve got to that point and it’s just that next step they need to take. What’s needed there? I’m a big believer in ‘what is your identity’ and creating an identity, that’s what we’re going to look to. I think there’s some sort of identity there, but when a new coaching staff comes in, you have to put your stamp on that too.”
-John Tortorella, the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. More from Tortorella from Derek Jory at the Canucks website.
The Vancouver Canucks will introduce John Tortorella as their new head coach at a 4:00pm ET press conference tomorrow.
The Canucks seem to be on a down-swing, will Tortorella be able to get them back into the Stanley Cup picture or will we see a further decline in Vancouver?
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
John Stevens was a sound consideration. John Tortorella is an emotional decision as the expected new coach of the Canucks, although the NHL club has yet to make a formal announcement. He was reportedly en route to Vancouver on Friday and has already had two interviews....
Tortorella was an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and got a taste for the rabid following for anything hockey related. But that was a two-week tournament. A 41-game home regular-season schedule with as many as 28 media at practices is going to test the Italian’s patience when soft and mundane queries are sent his way. Not sure there’s a 12-step program for dealing with those who think a left-wing lock is something you put on a bicycle, but that’s the challenge for the 54-year-old Tortorella.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
... the prospect of Tortorella landing the Canucks job continues to polarize the local hockey populace, to say nothing of curious free agents.
For all his bluster behind the bench and in front of microphones, Tortorella does have the ability to motivate, articulate and command such a level of respect that you either perform or you get pined. Brad Richards, in the playoffs, was the prime example from being demoted to the fourth line to not playing at all.
And you also have to think that Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini wants to change the message and take players out of a comfort zone. He wants a butt-kicker, and if that's the case, Gillis will have to make sure somebody is wearing the white hat and patting players on the back.
That's how it works in the NHL. Tortorella had Craig Ramsay as that kind of assistant in Tampa Bay when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
"Torts is a very good coach who wears people thin," said an NHL source. "He had no filter in New York and John needs a filter. Craig Ramsay was a great fit. There was all kinds of intensity coming from the bench in New York and no backdrop at all."
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
With Tortorella you might get Vigneault 2.0 with a heavy reliance on great goaltending, good defence and a struggle to score goals. The Rangers were 10th in offence and 23rd on the power play during the regular season and a paltry 4-for-44 on the power play in the playoffs. But you also get a snap to attention from a guy who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup championship in 2003-04. That carries cache, even though Torotella rubbed many Rangers the wrong way and you can just imagine how Henrik and Daniel Sedin would react to that approach. They’ll probably call Henrik Lundqvist for a heads-up.
However, this could be another fact-finding mission for both parties. Tortorella knows Ryan Kesler from the Team USA program at the 2010 Olympics, but he’s probably anxious to learn how Gillis plans to make his club better while already being at the salary cap ceiling for next season with seven players to still sign to flush out the roster. Is Gillis going to trade Keith Ballard? Can he move Roberto Luongo? What about Alex Edler? What about employing a more up-tempo approach? What about assistant coaches?
Gillis will be just as curious. Can Tortorella rule with an iron fist and not turn off a veteran core than doesn’t believe it needs somebody to come in and rattle the chains? Would he be a lockerroom presence or allow players to police themselves? Can he handle a hockey-mad market? Can he handle a core of veterans who savour having considerable clout in the room?
from Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News,
If Tortorella does not receive an offer to coach next season, and he decides a TV job is his best bridge to another coaching gig, his condescending, foul-mouthed style would be a consideration for any prospective employer.
An industry source, with NHL TV connections, said there is no point in speculating on Tortorella’s TV future because the prevailing feeling is he will be back coaching during the 2013-14 season. This could also be doubletalk. Maybe it’s just too early for a network, like NBC for instance, to even contemplate hiring Tortorella.
Or maybe there is some reluctance. For this would be a controversial hire. The case could be made that a national media outlet airing hockey, or regional sports network for that matter, should not hire a guy who treated the media like dirt. Not only that, but a coach who embarrassed NBC and the league by dropping F-bombs on national TV. Why reward this abhorrent behavior?
Right to the point.
F-bombs being tossed, rink mic picks-up the linseman.
John Tortorella post-game today after losing to the Boston Bruins 5-2 and going down in the series 0-2.
Tortorella felt the goal early in the 3rd period by Brad Marchand is one they cannot afford to give up. The goal put the Bruins up 4-2 and can be viewed below...
John Tortorella post-game after today's 1-0 OT loss to Washington.
from Andrew Gross of Rangers Rants,
With a team meeting looming at 12:45, he came into the interview room right from the ice around 12:30 and said to the media horde, “Notice I have my skates on because I’m not staying here that long. I don’t know what you’re going to ask me today that you didn’t ask me yesterday but go ahead and try.”
Tortorella, after shooting down the immediate first question on Staal’s status - “No update” - did then thoughtfully answer questions about Derek Stepan, why being innocent and naive in the playoffs as a player can be a good thing, the team’s confidence and chemistry and how the team must proceed without Clowe and Boyle.
But in the middle of answer about how the trade deadline acquisitions of Clowe from the Sharks and Derick Brassard and John Moore (and Dorsett) from the Blue Jackets for Marian Gaborik, plus the re-signing of Mats Zuccarello righted the team, Tortorella turned it into a rant against the media for misrepresenting his relationship with Gaborik. Tortorella, the day of the trade, warned the media not to “interfere” in his relationship with Gaborik.
“Yeah, I just think as you saw after the deadline, I just thought it changed our team a little bit,” Tortorella said of the personnel moves. “And I know you guys will turn it around and say that we didn’t like Gabby and you guys talk about the relationship I have with him. Gabby was a helluva player and we miss him in a lot of situations. He almost helped the team get in. So it isn’t that way. We ended up getting three or four players that solidified our core. So don’t give me any sh-*$!*^-it about Gabby as far as our relationship and all that because it’s wrong, and it’s unfair to both of us.”
from Craig Custance of ESPN (paid subscription),
The general belief is that Tortorella is safe this season, but his job could be in trouble if the Rangers miss the playoffs. That's fair. He's a veteran coach who has earned the opportunity to guide this team into the postseason. But there are some observers who believe he is getting in the way of success in New York.
The change might not be firing Tortorella but perhaps having him loosen the reins on his offensive catalysts.
"Their coach wants them to play a style that is not conducive to the players they have," said the longtime scout. "Torts is so intense and so intent in his ways. In the process, they have a lot of skill on that team and they dump and chase, they bang and crash. That's why they have trouble scoring. They don't utilize the skill people they have."
more on the Rangers with a bit more than usual for non-subscribers...
As seen on TSN...
A bit of John Tortorella's post-game media scrum...
Watch a better view of the hit from Pacioretty on Ryan McDonagh below...
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the New York Times,
If the N.H.L. continues to make progress in talks with Olympic officials aimed at sending its players to the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, one big question looms. Who would coach the United States team?
Ron Wilson, who coached the Americans to a silver medal at the Vancouver Games in 2010, is a contender. But he has not coached since being fired by Toronto last season.
That leaves perhaps a surprising favorite, the Rangers’ John Tortorella.
Long known in hockey circles for his combative news conferences, Tortorella came under scrutiny in the wider sports world during last year’s playoffs for that tendency. Many believed his outbursts would cost him a chance to lead the Americans in Sochi.
Interestingly, over the last two weeks, Tortorella has been remarkably cooperative with reporters, answering questions patiently and even apologizing for keeping them waiting.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot,
It doesn’t happen often, but a kinder, gentler John Tortorella emerged after practice here Wednesday afternoon, as he walked back the paint-peeling criticism he leveled at his Rangers following a 3-1 loss to the Devils Tuesday night.
“We have some guys that look scared to me, and tentative,” Tortorella said immediately after the defeat at Newark. But on Wednesday Tortorella softened that criticism considerably, and even did something he rarely does: accept some personal responsibility for the Rangers’ inconsistencies.
“I’m not trying to threaten them,” Tortorella said at the Rangers’ practice rink here. “Not to pound my chest, you know, and be this guy who’s a heavy.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
As would be expected, Tortorella has mixed feelings about his locked-out athletes playing in Europe, as are Rick Nash (Switzerland), Ryan McDonagh (Russia) and Carl Hagelin (Sweden).
“On one hand, I worry about the risk of injury — Rick already had the shoulder issue, which turned out to be minor — but on the other hand, I believe the guys who are playing games and competing will be sharper and better off when camp begins,” Tortorella said.
“I worry about our older guys like Richie [Brad Richards] and Rupper [Mike Rupp] who aren’t playing. It’s tough and they need to stay on top of it, because when we get into this, the best 20 guys are going to play on opening night,” he said.
from Stan Fischler of MSG.com,
Torts is with family at his Wisconsin retreat where he hikes and does some fishing.
Relaxing is a luxury sprinkled around his Summer that somehow remains consumed with hockey thoughts
Still, I couldn’t resist asking John whether he was, in fact, relaxing. If nothing else, he sure sounded cool, calm and collected.
“Relaxing?” he said mulling the question. “Never completely—because this has been a busy Summer for the team and I was involved in a lot of stuff.”
Talk about “stuff,” you can start with the suspenseful Rick Nash negotiations that eventually culminated with the Blue Jackets trade.
If you want emotional moments, how about the departure of one of the coach’s favorites, Brandon Prust.
Nor was it easy bidding au revoir to Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon. That was just for starters along with John Mitchell and Ruslan Fedotenko.