Jeff Klein at the New York Times reports that John Tortorella is the surprise favorite to get the head coaching job for Team USA at next year's Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Klein adds that Tortorella's recent cooperation with reporters is in stark contrast with his normal style and, if it lasts, can only help his Olympic chances.
Klein then notes that the coach of the Olympic men’s team comes with a certain responsibility because that person is, in many ways, the face of hockey before the game’s biggest American audience.
...i doubt very much that Torts' change in attitude with the press has anything to do with him lobbying for the head coaching job of Team USA. Having said that, it could very well coincidentally help his chances, which would be awesome. I think his tough rugged forechecking style would be perfect for Team USA.
...i also think his bluntness with the press could become as positive as the focus will be directed towards him taking the pressure off the players.
While it's certainly an honor to be named head coach of team USA - I'd rather he decline and focus his energy 100% on the Rangers and the players not going to the games.
I agree that that the forechecking style will be great for Team USA as well. Players like Cally, Oshie, Backes, Parise, and Kesler will fit that style of very well. USA will also be very stout defensively which Torts will love. The one thing I don't know is how well that style will transfer to the big ice over there. But, we shall see.
@TheNYRBlog ja, is it me or does he seem like he's really trying to be patient and respectful to press so far ?
If Torts is named head coach, expect Callahan to be wearing the C in the next Olympics. Suter will for sure have an A and I think Parise might get the other.
@TheNYRBlog That'd be a good move by USAHockey. European teams don't play well against gritty, grinding, in your face hockey.
If you thought the league and the owners were reluctant to let it stars into the Olympics before, wait until they find out their multi-million dollar assets will be expected to play in the dirty areas and lay down in front of shots...
Is this something Torts would really want? Seems like it would be a major distraction for him, not just during the Olympics but also leading up to them. Doesn't seem like his cup o' tea.