Few were surprised when the New York Rangers decided to fire head coach John Tortorella last summer. His relationship with the media became problematic, as did his rapport with certain players, according to former members of the club.
In the midst of the 2012-13 NHL season rumours insisted the Rangers bench boss was clashing with star winger Marian Gaborik. When the trade deadline rolled around, Gabby was moved to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a package of assets.
The Slovakian winger shies away from candidly commenting about his old coach. In an interview with Newsday he was non-descriptive and politely dismissive when asked about his relationship with Torts. Gaborik said:
“I don’t want to get into it. It’s in the past, everybody moved on, the team did, I did, he did”
On the day John Tortorella was fired by the Rangers, Gaborik tweeted the following:
Everything happens for a reason…
— Marian Gaborik (@MGaborik12) May 29, 2013
Former Ranger Brandon Dubinsky gave the New York Daily News his personal account concerning the time he spent with John Tortorella in New York. Dubinsky claims his relationship with Torts “fell apart” in his last season with the team. He also hinted that a similar falling-out may have materialized between the former Rangers head coach and other members of the Blueshirts, causing Tortorella to lose his job:
“I just felt like his relationship with some of the players could be doing the same thing. So I guess that pretty much sums it up. I wasn’t completely surprised that it happened.”
Quote courtesy of New York Daily News. Read full article here.
John Tortorella didn’t stay unemployed long; he is now calling the shots behind the bench with the Vancouver Canucks. His new team is enjoying early success, proudly laying claim to an impressive (11-5-2) record.
Torts has openly admitted that he regrets mistakes he made in New York. For example, his relationship with centre Brad Richards fell apart last season. Regarding his damaged friendship with Richards, Tortorella told ESPN:
“It kills me. It kills me. That kid there… that kid there, I grew up with him. I learned a lot from him in Tampa. We grew up together in Tampa. I don’t know where [the relationship] went… but yeah, it’s been damaged.”
Quote courtesy of ESPN. Read full article here.
Richards and Tortorella won the Stanley Cup together in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.