At Sportsnet, Mark Spector talked with St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock about how John Tortorella has handled his media responsibilities so far in the playoffs.
Hitchcock said of Tortorella,”I don’t think he’s handling it as well as he should, and I don’t think he’s selling the game to what I think our obligation is every day. But, I know what a good person he is, how passionate he is for people in distress. I’m a guy who would cut him some slack.”
Hitchcock says that one of the reasons for Tortorella being short after a game is the lack of time to decompress and that he wants to get right back to work and without a big staff, it falls on him and Mike Sullivan to do every thing.
Dave Andreychuk who captained the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004 told Scott Burnside at ESPN.com that this is classic Tortorella “That’s John. That’s what he does.”
Burnside writes, “as for Tortorella’s running skirmish with the media, Andreychuk said he and St. Louis talked about it while playing golf Thursday. They both believe it is purely an effort by Tortorella to take pressure off the players by creating a distraction.”
Tortorella famously had this to say about Hitchock in 2004.
Jay Feaster has pointed out earlier this season how Tortorella did that to take the pressure off of his team and put it on his back.
Neil Best of Newsday tweeted, “John Tortorella’s playoff non-interviews were amusing shtick for a while.Now they have become annoying and unprofessional.”
John Buccigross tweeted, “My problem with John Tortorella’s “act” is that it’s an act. Insensitive? Yes. Unprofessional? God, yes. The line for passive, media bullies is long. But that act went out of style a long time ago. He’s better than that. He’s articulate and passionate. Use it wisely.”
Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review tweeted, “Tortorella is taking a great narrative of his #NYRangers and ARROGANTLY taking it hostage with his tired act. Bad for #NHL Bad for hockey”
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe tweeted, “More disdain for media from Torts in presser. Lack of league leadership equally disgraceful. But I’ll keep that in room. Rule No. 1 in sports biz and PR: make people glad they attend, feel they are appreciated. Fail: Torts, Rangers, NHL. Total fail.”
Dupont added, “Delighted to hear Milbury and Jones fed up with tired Torts act. Rare for broadcast partner/house media to stop the smile and wink.”
TSN’s The Stats Guy tweeted, “John Tortorella is tired of the 25% rule…… well some people are tired of the 25 second media conferences”
Tom Gulitti tweets, “Pete DeBoer’s answer to 1st question of his postgame news conference was 85 words. Tortorella’s entire news conference? 36 words. When a coach refuses to answer questions from the media, he leaves it to his players to answer them instead. That leaves it up to the players to answer for the head coach’s actions.”
Ray Ferraro of TSN, “was w torts for a yr at TSN-really good guy, polite,courteous,respectful – he is none of these things right now w media-hes better than this”
Damien Cox tweets, “The next amusing part will be down the road when Tortorella becomes all chatty again when he gets fired and needs another job.”
Eric Duhatschek tweets, Question to my PHWA colleagues: Anyone consider a boycott of JTortorella press conferences? Just walk out en masse when he goes to podium.”
In response to that, Cox tweeted, “@eduhatschek One must appreciate the entertainment value of watching a man make a complete jackass of himself.”
John Boruk of CSN Philly, “John Tortorella calls Pittsburgh the most arrogant team in the league, then how would he describe his actions?”
More on Torts and the media, HERE.
Dean Brown, via Puck Daddy, is the latest member of the Canadian media to go on a rant about how John Tortorella handles his media esponsibilities during the playoffs.
Brown writes that it might be time for the media to walk out on Tortorella as he tends to do to them and that the people hit the hardest by Tortorella’s “childish and unprofessional manor” are the fans:
“Like it or not, the media is the conduit to the fans. If you treat the media this way you are snubbing and disrespecting the fans of the game. That is unacceptable.”
56% of readers said that they don’t care about about what Tortorella does as long as they win.
41% of readers said that Tortorella’s actions with media don’t bother them.
1.87% said that they are bothered by Tortorella
Earlier in the playoffs, Ottawa Sun columnist, Don Brennan wrote that a reporter covering the series said that John Tortorella displayed ‘subhuman’ behavior with his handling of the media.
Today, Brennan writes a blog post at the Ottawa Sun with the title “Tortorella is a jerk.” He writes this in response to how Tortorella handled an on the bench interview with Pierre McGuire where McGuire asked a question about the power play and Tortorella said “I’m not telling you.”
McGuire and Tortorella are friends who worked together at TSN when Tortorella was between coaching jobs.
Brennan is not the first member of the media who has had issues with Tortorella.
He writes of Tortorella, “I would love to see him lose to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern conference final. But I’m not so anxious to see Lou Lamoriello to succeed either. And the Devils bore me, still.”
Much has been made since the playoffs have started about John Tortorella and the length, or lack of, his meetings with the media.
In the National Post, Bruce Arthur writes that even with a level of secrecy and withholding information that happens in the playoffs, Tortorella takes it to another level, “still, even in hockey’s obfuscatory world of upper- and lower-body injuries, Tortorella comes across as arrogant, as a bully, as a jerk. This is the face, for whatever reason, he chooses to show to the world.”
Jay Feaster, who Torts worked with in Tampa Bay, told the National Post that this is all done for a reason,
“He’s the guys trying to take the bullets. I was watching it on TSN the other night, and it’s all about John Tortorella being abrupt with the media, and him being tough, and all this. And it’s not about the New York Rangers. It’s not asking Henrik Lundqvist why that puck got past him, or asking Brad Richards questions, or Brian Boyle, or anything. He did it with us in Tampa. There’s a method to the madness.”
Feaster has mentioned stories of Tortorella doing this kind of thing in the past.
Don Brennan wrote in the Ottawa Sun during the first round that Tortorella was displaying “subhuman behavior.”
Tortorella talked about his press conferences earlier in the week.
Tortorella was fined twice this season for comments he made during press conferences and Elliotte Friedman wrote at CBC that the fines are the reasons Tortorella has been short, “Convinced the edgier-than-ever John Tortorella media conferences have to do with his recent $20,000 fine. There were always things he wouldn’t discuss, but this is a new level. You could always find something he’d have a (great) opinion about.”