clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Closer Look At John Tortorella

"Torts" finishes in third place in the Canes Country new coach poll

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

Coach John Tortorella could be one of the most disliked coaches in the NHL at the present time.  He is famous for having feuds with players, fans, sports writers, and even fellow coaches.  But like him or hate him, he does have a keen hockey mind and has credentials most other coaches do not have.

Tortorella started his full time NHL coaching career in Tampa Bay where after a slow start, he led the Lightning to two Division titles as well as a Stanley Cup Championship.

In the 2008-09 season he was hired by the New York Rangers.  While he did not have the same success with them, the club did qualify for the playoffs in four out of his five seasons in New York.

In 2011-12, he led the Rangers to an Atlantic Division title and the team went to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost to the Devils.

Most recently, he was let go by the Rangers, was hired by Vancouver, and after one season with them, was just fired by the Canucks.

Tortorella has a lifetime .538 winning percentage.  That breaks down to .516 for the Lightning, .583 for the Rangers, and .506 for the Canucks.

Now for the bad news.  This coach has one heck of a temper.

He has gotten into it with fans behind his bench.  He has refused to answer questions in post-game media scrums.  He has even gone after an opposing coach between periods.   He has asked a reporter, (Larry Brooks) if he has ever fought and has refused to answer his questions more than once.

He has been suspended by the league on multiple occasions for his actions.

How many NHL coaches have multiple top 10 videos of interview highlights?  (One of my favorite quotes:  I have a lot of friends in Canada and they are not all idiots, but there are a few who are idiots.)

He has called both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin whiners and went on to call the entire Penguins organization a "joke".

One thing for sure, this guy is not boring.  Could the most despised coach in the NHL and the league's most criticized player, (Alexander Semin) coexist on the same team?  I doubt we will find out, but it surely would not be boring.