Recap: John Tortorella On The Michael Kay Show (Clashing With Glen Sather/Brad Richards/Roberto Luongo)

John Tortorella

  • Michael Kay is off but wanted to ask Torts if the Canucks would win the Stanley Cup, “Absolutely.”
  • On being surprised about being fired, “I didn’t think it was going to happen. You always think you are going to finish the job that you set forth. We played in five of eight playoff rounds the past two years and there always thinks we need to work on. There are always things that the GM is upset about, but I didn’t think it would go that far, it did, you shake hands, move on and go about your business.”
  • On why he was fired, “I didn’t stick around and ask too many questions. When your boss says we have had enough of you, I say OK. I went back that night to grab the stuff out of my office and then you just move on. I don’t have a bad word to say about the organization. I loved the people here, the players, but this is what you sign up for when you get into it.”
  • On the relationship he had with Henrik Lundqvist, “really good. I heard that bounced around a little bit and Henrik voiced his opinion on it later on. Henrik and I, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, the first couple of years it was up and down. I demanded a lot from him, a lot of things that I felt were wrong with the team concept and I watched him grow. Of all the players I have coached, and as I said to him when it was all said and done, there is not a player who competes and prepares as hard as he does. Our relationship was really good at the end. I think he will say that too. People will say that he tried to run me outta here, but I don’t believe it. Those are the things that you end up wondering about. No coach wants to hear a player say they want a coach out of here.”
  • Issues with players and/or the system, “I don’t know. No one said it to me. In those exit meetings, which are really dangerous and your emotions are raw, I walk a fine line with how I push athletes and how I am going to continue to push athletes. Some guys may be upset by it, some guys may use it as an excuse, some guys may not like it and they have a right to voice their opinion. No one said anything to me. It happens, but I gave everything I could to the team and I am proud of a lot of things that we accomplished.
  • On clashing with Glen Sather, “we clashed all the time, that is part of it. That isn’t a bad thing. Glen and I had a lot of differences of opinion but we always talked them out. I said to him, I enjoyed working for him. I don’t wish anything bad on him or the organization. I had a blast there, but you are going to have arguments and differences of opinion, that is the way it is. Glen makes the final call and if he doesn’t think I’m the right guy, it’s his cal land he made the call.”
  • On Brad Richards, “I think Brad Richards is a hell of a hockey player and still can be. I am not going to explain some of the things I feel he needs to do to get back there, it’s not my job anymore and I don’t feel comfortable doing that. Brad and I had a very frank conversation at the end of the year and I still think there is a lot of hockey left in Brad Richards.”
  • On Roberto Luongo, “he is a hell of a goalie. I am the new guy walking into that. It’s a strange situation, but both players handled it very well. I did talk to Roberto after the trade, we had a great conversation and we will continue to talk. I am trying to piece together what has been said to him. Watching his career, he is a great pro and he is a really good goalie. I think he should look at it as a clean slate and he is our number one guy.
  • On the media, “I regret some of the things, but I am not going to apologize. I did what I did, I do what I do. I know, especially this year, some things got blown out of proportion that I allowed to, that I got into the middle of, basically that is all I am being talked about as. I think I put some players in a bad spot and I really regret that. Certainly up there, it’s going to be intense, I need to make some  adjustments and try to cultivate a relationship. I am going to, it’s worn me out, that is all I have talked about and I don’t want to put the team into a bad spot. I didn’t mean to put some players into a bad spot, but I did.”
  • On being at the podium and how it’s different, “when someone tells you that they don’t want you here anymore, you reassess things and I do, I looked at how I went about things. I’m not apologizing, but I do need to reassesses. My emotion is a strength and also a weakness. I am not good after games. Win or lose it’s very hard to sit ten minutes after a game and talk. I am already thinking of what we did well and what we need to do better. I’m not good at it”
  • On regrets, “you always want to do more, you want to win the Stanley Cup. But I am really happy, I thought we changed the culture with our young players, developing our kids, not always going out and signing free agents, for some reason, because I didn’t play Chris Kreider, people don’t think I played young kids. We played a ton of young kids and I hang my hat on that. I think they changed the whole landscape of what is going on. I am proud of that and that includes the staff and Glen. Sometimes they need someone else to finish the job and that is what happened here.”
  • On the lockout hurting the team, “I think our training camp is unique in that it’s physical conditioning but a lot of is mental conditioning. I was so nervous about us not having a camp during the lock out, and I am not begrudging any of the other camps because I am sure they are all good. I was concerned about it but it is no excuse. I am not going to say we were terrible, but I think we were one of the better teams at the end of the year. I think we get boxed in, because of the expectations, that we had an awful year. We were a six seed, won four of our last five games against Washington, we were one of the better teams in the last month. I liked what happened. The thing I would like to have back is to get a jump on that Boston series. Boston was a better team then us and if people don’t think that they are crazy, because they were. I felt we could have gotten a jump on them if I had them better mentally prepared. Both teams in that first game, it was like they were playing an exhibition game. Both teams were coming off such a high. I said it on NBC and I think I got in trouble for it, they asked me what’s this and I said I didn’t know what it was because it was so laissez faire, it was just like an exhibition game and I believed we could have gotten some momentum if we were better prepared. I didn’t do a good enough job.”
  • “Boston is a good team. They are deep, they could role four lines. Losing Campbell hurt them. We were hoping that Rask, being untested, but look at what he did, he was really good. That is a team that plays both defensively and offensively and they are a complete team that deserved to go where they did.”
  • Can he tell the Sedins apart, “no. I met one of them in person. I’ve been reading the media guide. I wont’ be able to. They are great people.”
  • On Alain Vigneault, “I’ve known Alain and I think he is a heck of a coach. He did a great job in Vancouver. They have won, they have been close, bu they haven’t taken that final step. Alain and I have talked all through this and had some laughs about switching teams. He asked me a lot about New York and I didn’t have a bad word to say. He said the same thing about Vancouver. The changes were made and we were very fortunate to get work when there are a lot of good people out there who don’t get a sniff and they should. There are no complaints.”
  • On the Yanks, “this is a little upside down for me. I know it’s been a bit of a struggle.” Torts then asked if Cashman threw some F-Bombs at him and had a good laugh. “That twitter, I can’t even, I don’t even want to go there.”