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Feaster on Tortorella: “He’s the guy trying to take the bullets”

May 3, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT

John Tortorella Getty Images

In an excellent piece looking at John Tortorella’s terse relationship with the media, the National Post’s Bruce Arthur spoke with arguably the best person to explain Torts’ signature abruptness:

Jay Feaster.

Back in 2004, Feaster and Tortorella were GM and coach of the Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning. While Torts was much younger — 46 then, 53 now — and has cooled somewhat in recent years, the fire still burns deep within, flickering to the surface during press conferences.

All part of the plan, according to Feaster.

“He’s the guys trying to take the bullets,” Feaster said. “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.”

To be fair, part of this madness might be financially motivated. Tortorella has been fined a grand sum of $50,000 this year for remarks made to the media — $30,000 for blasting officials after the Winter Classic, $20,000 for ripping the Penguins organization swearing.

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  1. bobhpine - May 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    The second fine was for implying the refs and the NHL give the penguins preferential treatment, not for “ripping” the team. Who writes this?

    • Mike Halford - May 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      No, it was for ripping the Penguins and calling them “one of the most arrogant organizations in the league.” And for calling Crosby and Malkin “whining stars.” And for swearing.

      (From the USA Today column titled “Tortorella fined $20,000 for ripping Penguins.”)

      Here’s the full transcript of Torts’ rant. I don’t see any implication of refs and/or the NHL giving the Penguins preferential treatment:

      [John Tortorella]
      Absolutely. It’s a. It’s a cheap, dirty hit. It’s it’s just – I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there, I wonder what would happen? So I’m anxious to see what happens with the league with this. Just not respect amongst players. None. It’s sickening.

      [Reporter]
      Why do you think that happens with a play like that?

      [John Tortorella]
      Ask the guy who did it, ask him. It’s one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time, and look what happens.

      [Reporter]
      Is there any preliminary report on Stepan …

      [John Tortorella]
      I haven’t talked to Rammer. It’s ridiculous. But they’ll whine about something else over there, won’t they? Starting with their two [expletive] stars.

      • bloggersarenotjournalists - May 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        BOOM Roasted

  2. Miller - May 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    No actually neither of those are correct. Torts was fined for cursing not for for calling Crosby and Malkin “whining stars” or questioning the integrity of officials.

    Bettman made it clear it was only for his language and not for speaking the truth regarding the Penguins.

    • Mike Halford - May 3, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Touche: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2012-04-10/john-tortorella-penguins-whine-sidney-crosby-rangers-nhl-playoffs-2012

    • challer9 - May 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Yeah, sure it was about the “cursing.” Just like the NFL laid the smackdown on the Saints because they really care for the players well being. Pull your head out.

  3. fbothharbaughs - May 3, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Quite simply, this douche’s a douche…

  4. bloggersarenotjournalists - May 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    And everyone on the Rangers not named Dubinsky loves him.

    He makes it about him and spares his players
    And any reporter asking about injuries during the playoffs is stupid and wasting his time and everyone else’s time.

    And no, it’s not their job to ask questions they know they are not going to get an answer worth salt

  5. nflofficeadmin - May 3, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Torts has had terrible and painful gas throughout the playoffs and that had attributed some to his lousy mood in pressers.

  6. charlutes - May 3, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    A guy is honest so we take his money. I’m sorry, don’t have coaches do press conferences if your going to penalize them for answering questions honestly. now the media is upset at him for not doing their job for them. how about sports writers actually cover sport and not the surrounding soap opera. I have lost so much faith in humanity. I don’t know maybe its different in the states but in Canada sports anchors and reporters are less talented than hot dog vendors.

    • bbk1000 - May 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      I have long said people are born evil….need to teach them good, dogs on the other hand are the exact opposite…..

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