I am very hesitant to post anything about John Tortorella on the blog because he's no longer the head coach of the Rangers, so I really don't care what he does in Vancouver.
However, it looks like he did a series of interviews yesterday with the Vancouver media and gave up a couple of nuggets I thought you guys would be interested in.
Here's Tortorella basically challenges his former players for going behind his back during last season's exit interviews (The Providence)...
“What bothered me the most is I thought I was pretty close to the guys, and in exit interviews they come by my desk too, and no one said anything to me,” Tortorella said.
“I wish they would have said something to me. Glen (Sather) probably still would have fired me, but you hope you develop people to be men, and I thought we were there. I guess it went through a third party instead of face-to-face. I know it happens in the game, I don’t agree with it."
...WOW!!!! Torts basically challenged his former players' manhood. DAMN!!!!! I guess keeping things in the locker room goes out the window once you're fired.
...i agree with Torts that if players have a problem with the coach they should be man enough to say it to his face instead of basically throwing him under the bus during an exit interview. Having said that, I think the toxic environment that eventually divided the coach from his players last year (see Torts saying Hagelin stinks) most likely kept the players from going directly to him and forced them to air their dirty laundry to Sather.
...i disagree with Torts that he would have been fired either way. I think Sather was caught off-guard by the exit interview criticism of the former head coach as well as Lundqvist's non-committal to an extension with the Rangers and made a snap decision. I'm not saying it was the wrong decision, but I do think it was one Sather didn't anticipate making the morning after the Rangers were eliminated by the Bruins.
Tortorella also spoke with the Vancouver Sun about his disappointment with not being named to the U.S. Olympic coaching staff as well as his discussions with Alain Vigneault about the mechanics of each organization.
However, the highlight of the interview was Tortorella's answer to whether he has spoken to the New York Post's Larry Brooks since being fired...
"No — and we won’t."
...hysterical. Can't wait till Torts gets his first Brooks question when the Rangers and Canucks meet-up this season.
How civilized. While I can't vouch for the accuracy of the spin, but apparently Torts offered enough sound bites to make a "Let's blame the victim" wrap up quite plausible. For someone who is a pro at speaking to the press, I can't believe he didn't know what he was saying or how people would run with it. Ah, narcissism, the last people to see it are the ones suffering from it.
Overreaction. This is barely a blip. Imagine how we all would sound if everything we said was published.
Back to hockey.
I've been pretty supportive of Torts, but this is bullsh*t--and it's exactly why he doesn't have the job in NY anymore. He doesn't practice what he preaches. He doesn't keep it in the locker room, and this time he can't use the excuse that it's a motivational tactic. If you're gonna be a hard ass, you better live up to your own standards. Otherwise you look like a guy who is compensating for knowing, deep down, you're nothing. And guys who are actually tough enough to have made it to the show see through that sh*t eventually. You think he would have let any of the guys get away with saying stuff like this? Of course not. Torts looks more and more like the petulant tyrant he was rumored to be and less and less like the tough guy with the heart of gold he liked to pretend he was.
This is basically small shit, not even worth commenting on except to say that I picked up on strained relationships between players and coach very early last season, and my observations were met with much venom here but obviously I was correct. There is no way Torts was not aware of it so why even react to his comments with anything other than pitiful laughter. I never liked his coaching style, despite our success in '11/"12 and I'm happy he's gone.
He is right. Be a man and take face to face. He had no problems telling people the truth and they initially respected him for it. They should have said it to his face too. Kind of cowardly. Oh well.
How about be a man and swallow the fact you got fired, and not call out your old team in an interview with the Vancouver Press?? Sounds like a bitter man to me who doesn't practice what he preaches. Take care guy. Your gone and soon to be forgotten.
Know why they didn't speak up? Because he probably would have benched them or scolled them, putting them in the corner of the bench! He is missing his Man Balls with his napoleon ego! I think his wife must beat him off cameras!
torts personality and style can only be tolerated for a few years. The players wore down physically and mentally. I'm looking forward to a fresh start this year. Hopefully Vigneault can take the Rangers to the next level.
Torts is a scumbag and a terrible coach. Clueless, unadaptable, hypocritical piece of garbage. Hope the Canuck fans set him on fire along with the rest of their city after their next tremendous loss.
I think Trots is a great coach. I don't think there was more he could had done with my Rangers. Most Fellow Rangers fans would disagree, but I'll tell you this. I already miss his no hold barred comments.
I see nothing wrong with his comments. I think he is the type that would rather take a spear to the chest than a knife in the back. I think he is the type that appreciates a frank conversation. I can't stand people who don't have the guts to say what they think to your face. Do you have proof that he ever benched anyone for speaking their mind? He is only interested in winning. What else matters? Please stop the Tortorella bashing. It is time to move on.
Why should any player risk getting sent down benched or traded in talking to him? He showed how he runs things, If a player whipped it out and showed him that he really did have a bigger d... than Torts you get benched traded or sent down, So why bother talking to him when you knew he was going anyway? To show that you have even less class than Torts by rubbing it in? Give me a break. The players did the right thing. Now let's move on instead of listening to all of the Bitterness and attempted backlashes against the members of last years team. LET'S GO RANGERS!!!!!
I have to agree with him here. If you have a problem. Air it out, be an adult, don't go behind someone's back. But that's just my opinion.
He admitted this past year that he likes dogs more than people. Nuff said. I bet he used to get beat up at the bus stop.
I think he's directing it towards a select few players not the entire team.. Richards, DZ, and maybe Nash
for god's sake Torts move on. Shouldn't you be teaching Henrik and Daniel how to dive in front of slapshots?
this happens a lot when people get in positions of power. they lose the feel for what their subordinates are going through. they just see their side and if they feel things are good than they think everyone see it that way. torts seems to have forgot how to be a real person. he's just a one man show egomaniac with no perception of how other people view him.
My respect level for Torts just went down several more notches. Ever since leaving for Vancouver, every time he's opened his mouth has justified his dismissal more and more. I was strongly against his firing from the beginning but clearly everything wasn't kumbaya in the room.
Torts was a disaster this past season and had no problem throwing his players under the bus when things didn't go well. He created a toxic environment and it blew up in his face. Now this revisionist history? Only a matter of time before he alienates the Sedin twins this season. Hope the Rangers can pick up the pieces this off-season!
Those coaches that throw players under the bus, will be thrown under the bus themselves. This is a little Pot meet Kettle. Guy has a brand new job and he is still talking about the old one that he failed at. Move on Torts
What happened to Tort's philosophy about keeping things "in the room". Why is he airing this out now, instead of just moving on? Why? Cause he's an egotist, who needs to look like he was the good guy in all of this.
His inability to adapt was what caused the player revolt. Constantly criticizing his players in public, but god forbid his players talked about anything outside the locker room (see McD) It's always "my way or the highway" with him.
No wonder why he's not a part of team USA, cause there is no team concept with Torts, no matter how much he insists it's all about team. It's always been about him.
They're all men but I thought the exit interviews were crafted and not too nice. I understand that winning isn't about being nice but I would have thought that something would have been said to Torts beforehand to give him a chance to understand the players' mindset. I don't know if Torts was right for NYR anymore but I think it's lousy for a coach to find out during exit interviews.
There was definitely more going on in that locker room than any of us should or did know about. I'm beginning to think the Richards benching, while applauded by the fans, wasn't so much in the room. If so, not sure I agree with the guys on that but they had their reasons (I might agree if I knew them). Either way, what's done is done and all we can do is hope the players learned from this and don't become the whining, spoiled athletes the team used to have.
As for the Brooks part, he knew what the follow up question would be so he just answered it. Honestly I don't even know why that was a question. Yes him and Brooks have had run-ins. But he also had run-ins with Zip and Gross and Pat and even Jesse Spector so why we have to ask about Brooks each time...it's just looking for a quote to me and that's just not necessary. He gave plenty in that interview, that one wasn't needed in my mind. Honestly the highlight to me was him saying he would need drugs for the helicopter ride lol.
I always liked John Tortorella. I don't really think he himself was the problem in New York, I think it was a combination of things. But if I were playing for Vancouver, I think these comments about his former players would make me uneasy.
Yea, cause it never backfires on a person when they confront their boss about being treated a certain way. The boss always respects it and things immediately get better. Nice try Torts. Oh, by the way Torts, did you call Sean Avery up before you nuked him on TV as an analyst? Yea, didn't think so. Poor wittle Tortsy got his feewings huwt because da big bad players didn't wike him...BOOO FRIGGIN' HOOO!! I was a big supporter of Torts and didn't agree with the firing, but you know what, EFF YOU TORTS, you need to man up yourself...and BTW, if I ever meet you in person, I will say the exact thing to your face...as long as you have a chair to stand on first. What an a-hole!
chump move by torts here. if I was a nuck I don't think I'd trust torts. I always thought torts was better than this. it the past. take the high road.
I get where he's coming from. Why didn't they speak up during the season, or say something at some point? Really....it woiuld have been professional courtesy.
Not only that, but I just went to the original article. The quotes are barely given any context by Botchford. That part of the article is just a list of sound bytes, basically.
No one really knows what happened, whether the players complained at all, or whatever. Torts doesn't even know.
Like Between says below, I'm sure the relationship between the coach and the team went through quite a bit of strain last year and I'm equally sure that he didn't get along with some of the guys at all ever. This is all within the spectrum of normal human social interaction.
It still makes me laugh to see all the Torts hating now that he is gone. Where was everyone when we were in the Eastern Conference Finals? Didn't hear to many comments about a toxic environment then. Revisionist history indeed.
@WisconsinRangerfan12 Redden. And before you say he deserved to be benched (cause he certainly did cause he played like crap), that's not the point. Redden had issues with Torts (as it seems many players did) but he went face to face with him, and it devolved into a shouting match, and then an extended benching.
And yes...time to move on. Torts needs to take this advice.
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) That helicopter quote was great!
@gravey94 Great point on Avery!
it never looks good when you get fired and then tell all your fellow employees at your new job how unfair your firing was. just be glad to have a new opprotunity and move on. he looks like a total beotch in this interview.
Oh, and BTW, you want to get upset at someone, look in the mirror! A good coach would know that everything wasn't honkey dory in the locker room. You seemed to think you were all best buds and then were shocked when you weren't. Good instincts there Torts! Goes a long way to explaining why you re-hired Sullivan in Vancouver too!
@Deb Servey Do you remember what happened to Wade Redden when he confront Torts "face to face"? Things didn't go to well for Redden for the rest of his NYR career.
@shoot_the_goalie @WisconsinRangerfan12 Well as Wisconsin pointed out, Torts didn't just drag this up out of nowhere while talking about dogs or something. Interviewer asked about it, Torts answered in usual Torts honesty. Sure he could have given a more PC answer, the Canucks org probably would want him to too , but that's not Torts by that point I think.
@shoot_the_goalie @WisconsinRangerfan12 This whole thing is blown way out of proportion. I read the article. He wasn't being mean, just honest. I imagine it hurts very much to get fired from a job you love so much. I think he really cared about these guys and was shocked they turned on him. At least Henrik Lundqvist has been gracious about it. I'm a Ranger fan, but I wish him the best. He did a lot of good things here.
Yeah. Never bitch about the people or the work at the last job... Really disappointed in torts that he bypassed the high road, avoided saying nothing at all and instead went low rent and called people's manhood into question. You're short. Get over it. Get therapy.
@shoot_the_goalie Yeah, cause Redden was playing so well up in NY so well too.
@WisconsinRangerfan12 @shoot_the_goalie Agreed it's been blown out of proportion, as I too agree he's being honest and he was probably hurt by the "revolt", but come on, does he have to call out his former players, questioning if they're real men? And from his insinuations, he acts as if he's the one responsible for turning his players into "real men", as if they were just immature children before. Maybe that's what caused the players to turn against him.
Very little chance of change there IMHO. Thanks God that there's SOMETHING to talk/bitch about in August though! Can't wait to see if brooks mentions it. Dumb sentence. Can't wait to see WHEN brooks mentions it.
Torts' style of coaching involves coaching through conflict. You will read almost any article that will tell you that his time with Tampa wasn't rainbows and butterflies, it was full of conflict. If I remember correctly, he had a sign on the door of the video room telling people with thin skin not to bother coming in. His captain publicly challenged him in video sessions etc. If you challenge him, he will challenge you and expect you to rise up to the challenge. Can't challenge him and continue cruddy play. Redden, if I remember correctly, showed no signs of getting better. That was why he got less ice time. That was why he went to the A.
And Brad Richards went through the same process this season. I think some say Richards got too long of a stick even. No guarantees he would have ended up Whale-d (or well, Wolfpack-ed) but that's just how Torts works.
I'm not saying he's perfect in this way, I do believe he does hold some grudges but at the same time - I don't think he does it without merit. Nor does he bench a player for challenging him. His "my way or the highway" is more on style of play, not that the player had the guts to say something back to him. Look at Zucc and Stralman, both players that Torts admitted to questioning at the beginning, but he's ended up welcoming them back into the team AND playing them regularly. Why? Because their play convinced him that the deserved ice time. You can say that his style of play wasn't right or whatever, but that's - as you say - not the point, of this discussion.
@JustThatPigeon @shoot_the_goalie Not the point. Sure, Redden was playing like crap, but he felt he was being singled out by Torts, and brought up the issue face to face with him. Granted, who knows if it was a nasty exchange from the start, but it devolved into a shouting match, and then Redden getting benched for even a longer period of time, and then eventually down to the AHL.
So bringing up your issues face to face with Torts was not really a recipe for professional courtesy and a lot of the players probably know that.
Torts has always been a "my way or the highway" guy. He's even admitted to that, and has acknowledged that he needs to change in that regard. Let's see if he actually does.