Skip to content

Rangers captain Callahan reacts to Avery’s anti-Tortorella tweet

Apr 1, 2013, 9:06 AM EDT

With the New York Rangers in serious danger of missing the playoffs entirely, retired Rangers forward Sean Avery recently took to Twitter to bash coach John Tortorella:

In response to Avery’s criticisms, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan decided to speak on behalf of his teammates.

“Sean Avery’s comments solely represent his own thoughts and opinions,” Callahan said, according to the The Bergen Record. “He did not speak for us as a team when he was here and certainly does not now.”

It’s no surprise that Callahan wanted to distance himself and his teammates from those comments, but he took it a step further by specifying that Avery didn’t even speak for the Rangers when he was a member of the franchise.

The Rangers haven’t scored a goal in 127:47 minutes and have consequently lost back-to-back games. They’re tied with the ninth place New York Islanders in points, although they’ve played in one less contest.

That’s the setup for what will be a tough week for the Rangers as they play against the Winnipeg Jets, the Pittsburgh Penguins twice, and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Meanwhile the Columbus Blue Jackets’ surge continues, setting up a potential scenario where Rick Nash, after giving up on the franchise that drafted him and demanding a trade, might actually miss the playoffs while his former squad advances.

  1. bigbadbruins77 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Remember when I told all you Ranger fans that the Bruins were better and tuukka was better than lundquist! ? Where are all you haters now.

    • johnstone17 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      What did the season series end up being?

    • johnstone17 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      ……………………. And Lunquivst has not been the Rangers problem.

      • 19to77 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        Nope. As usual, it’s awful, awful scoring depth. Gaborik’s having his mandatory crap year after a great one, Richards seems to be in decline post-Dallas (last year was less than hoped for from him too, albeit a lot better than this one) and their bottom six has been gutted to buy Nash, so there’s not much help coming from down there either. Nash, Stepan and Hagelin are about the only forwards earning their keep. Even Callahan’s having a weak year compared to last.

    • boltsfan777 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      So what? You speak as if you have something to do with the Bruins success. You have a 50/50 chance of being right like everyone else. Have they even gotten past the first round of the playoffs? It’s obnoxious Boston fans like you that make Boston fan the #1 sworn enemy of Tampa fan, and that especially includes you card-carrying members of Red Sox nation who pay for the honor of being a member.

      • hockeyflow33 - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        You’re barely better than Columbus. These are Original 6 teams and fanbases. Go back to the beach pinkhat

    • nyrnashty - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      It’s Lundqvist, not Lundquist, but nice try!

      • johnstone17 - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        I screwed the spelling up to, but I was closer. LOL

    • sunderlanding - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      I don’t know if Rask is better. Any goalie that plays for the Bruins is going to have good numbers because they have one of the best defesive units in the league. Look at Thomas before, and whoever the backup is now. The Bruins defense just makes goalies look good. Put Rask on a team with no defense and I bet you his numbers drop.

  2. kicksave1980 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    If Avery wants to go on fashion TV shows and tweet out the season’s new spring color collections, that’s his business. His life, he can do whatever he wants. But he really isn’t doing his ex-teammates any favors by throwing them into an (even bigger) media storm. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, and now have to shift attention to stupid things like this.

    This really should’ve never even been news. Avery has made a career out of saying and doing stupid things. He isn’t an active player anymore, and his opinion on the game means even less today than it ever did.

  3. ibieiniid - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    lol i like how you can tell Callahan grew up watching the same Avery the rest of us did…. and seemingly hated him just as much. probably more when he had to deal with him every day.

  4. jacketsfan7 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    I hope to god that the rangers kick ass from now on and shut Avery the F*ck up already

  5. redgreentape - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    he will be a good fit for CBC if Don Cherry ever quits.

    • tatdue - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Come on man….I’m not a big Cherry fan but that is pretty low…

  6. jjregan21 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Sean Avery is garbage. Wouldn’t expect any different from him. I’m sure he wishes he could get a chance to play for the Rangers again

  7. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Yet somehow, Avery is the only winner in this entire situation…he basically got everyone to buy in to the fact that he’s still relevent. The press, us, Callahan…everyone validated him. It was actually a pretty good move on his part.

    • 19to77 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Would you really call it “validation” when we’re all just reaffirming that he’s an idiot and we hate him?

    • jb8383 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      @hockeywithdrawal, I couldn’t agree with you more. Why even dignify his comments with a response since he is not even relevant anymore, unless there is some truth behind it and Callahan is trying to save face.

  8. JoeAvg - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Of course he had to. The thing that struck me as I read the quote is that Callahan really doesn’t say it’s not true. It’s worded like one of Nixon’s non-denial denials. Was this all he said or did he go on to defend Torts?

    • ibieiniid - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      although I can see why you would think that with the way it’s worded… i don’t think there’s any question that Callahan is standing behind his coach.

      • 19to77 - Apr 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        I don’t know… the players talked a lot about “buying into his system” last year, but this year it’s not working out. The players are (mostly) the same, so that suggests either that a lot of them are playing worse for some reason, that the system isn’t lastingly successful… or, more likely, that they’re not buying into Torts screaming vitriol at them quite so willingly when his coaching is no longer filling the wins column.

        He’s a players’ coach when the team is winning, but it’s easy to get really sick of Torts really quickly when you’re underperforming for any length of time.

  9. operwapitsai - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    wow good thinking! how funny would it be to see the jackets advance and the rangers and Nash playing golf!

  10. hockeydon10 - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Avery is a d-bag.

    Unfortunately he’s also right in this instance.

    Just look at the way the team is playing. The only star player Torts hasn’t lost is the guy that’s been playing for him for this season only; Rick Nash. The rest of the players seem to have tuned him out. It ended the same way in Tampa Bay. He lost the players because of they way he acts.

    Players start by tuning out the verbal rampages, then it’s an easy step/slide to tune him out entirely.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Yes Torts really is the new Mike Keenan. You look at Keenans career record and it shows a definite pattern that by the 3rd-4th year the teams start to struggle. And it’s similar with Torts. If he doesn’t win a Cup by the 4th season he probably never will. There’s only so long you can belittle and berate professional athletes and grown men before they start to turn on you. I hate Avery but he would certainly know about that since there are very few former teammates that don’t have horrible things to say about him.

  11. cruuuzcontrol - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    It’s been a rough year for the Rangers, but it ain’t Cally’s fault. He’s limited in that he can’t put the team on his back and score 4 goals a week, but he gives all out effort every shift and he is clearly the leader of that locker room. Shame that heart and effort isn’t something that rubs off on some of the veteran players.

  12. jkay1818 - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Nash is mentioned in this article and in a few comments. If the blue jackets make the playoffs it wouldn’t be due to guys like dubinsky tearing it up, he’s been hurt half the year.
    If Rick Nash wasn’t on the Rangers they would be in dead last, he has been their best player all season, hands down.

    This issue is absolutely tortorella. Coming from a die hard Rangers fan, let’s face facts. They missed the playoffs his first season, got in on the last day of the season, won the east and now are fighting once again for a playoff spot. Some Rangers fan commented how stupid Rangers fans are how this is the same tortorella that took them to the conf finals. The bottom line is, there is no prust, fedotenko, dubinky, anisimov, rupp, bickell, scott, sauer, etc. Most of the guys are good depth guys, kill penalties, block shots, the other guys are tough, play physical, no one messed with them last season. Out of the bunch they miss prust the most, he forechecked, fought every night, blocked shots, top PK unit. This is a different team now and tortorella hasn’t adjusted. He changes the lines every game as usual, he puts scorers like gaborik on the 4th and 3rd line and messes with his head. Sure, gaborik is having an off yr, but give me a break with this treatment. A big portion of his down yr aside from not being recovered from his shoulder surgery, is the system, Gaborik can fly and their O has him set up waiting at the blue line against the boards to gain the zone, he is useless in those situations. He doesn’t have richards setting up the rush, acting as a playmaker. He has guys like stepan and hagelin blossoming into bonafide offensive threats and tortorella is playing the same grinding hockey, slowing the game down. Sometimes the best moves at the deadline is a coaching change, not even bringing in a new star. The guys act is tiring and this team has tuned him out wayyyy before avery opened his mouth.

  13. budzo83 - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    I’m neutral toward the Rangers and I can’t say that Avery is wrong. A coach like Torts has a shelf life because he is so Keanan-esque in how he handles his players. They have tuned him out, not just this season but for extended stretches in previous seasons.

    There is nothing wrong with getting guys to buy into the system, but 1.) he has unrealistic expectations with some of his key personnel (Gaborik) and 2.) he plays too many head games (buries guys in the minors).

    The team has not lived up to expectations this season, and the majority of the blame falls on the players for that because they are ultimately who has the most control on the outcome of games. However, does John Tortarella really believe that he has met expectations as a coach this season? His anger seems to get misplaced at times on the players and the media, but I guess that’s all part of the deal when you have this guy on your payroll. I think it’s time for a new voice.

    And Sean Avery is not a hard guy to find fault with, but don’t discount what he says just because he’s Sean Avery.

  14. letsgopens8771 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    “Sean Avery’s comments solely represent his own thoughts and opinions. He did not speak for us as a team when he was here and certainly does not now.”

    — Exactly right. Avery is just a ME Monster and nothing more. Always has been, always will be. Avery is classless and always puts himself before his team and teammates. Nothing that Callahan said was untrue.

  15. cruuuzcontrol - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I sincerely doubt that Torts has lost the locker room… Guys continue to do all the grindy, sacrificial things that Torts’ defensive system demands. His failure is being unable to open things up offensively for what is a more offensively skilled Rangers team than he’s previously coached. But he’s only part of the problem for the Rangers. Guys who have succeeded in this system before are not succeeding this season. And on another note, I don’t think Torts treats his players the way he treats the media, so acting like he’s a big bully in the locker room is baseless. You, as a hockey fan, don’t like him or his attitude? That’s fine. But don’t presume that his players feel the same way.

    • budzo83 - Apr 1, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      @ cruuuzcontrol – You make make some fair points; it’s really conjecture on both of our parts as to what is really going on behind the scenes. I totally agree with the point that certain players are not contributing at the levels that they have at the past, which puts a lot more pressure on the skill guys. I also agree that the way Slats built the team (or Slats in general) is probably a bigger problem than the coach.

      And for the record, I don’t have a problem with Tortorella or his coaching style. I don’t think he is a bully, but he is very confrontational and quite famously has a dog house for players that fall out of his favor. Still nothing wrong with that, but most players at the NHL level do not respond to that in a positive way. The guys that do the “grindy, sacrificial things” do them because that’s who they are and furthermore, because they have to if they want to get minutes on this team.

  16. budzo83 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    I’m neutral toward the Rangers and I can’t say that Avery is wrong. A coach like Torts has a shelf life because he is so Keanan-esque in how he handles his players. They have tuned him out, not just this season but for extended stretches in previous seasons.

    There is nothing wrong with getting guys to buy into the system, but 1.) he has unrealistic expectations with some of his key personnel (Gaborik) and 2.) he plays too many head games (buries guys in the minors).

    The team has not lived up to expectations this season, and the majority of the blame falls on the players for that because they are ultimately who has the most control on the outcome of games. However, does John Tortarella really believe that he has met expectations as a coach this season? His anger seems to get misplaced at times on the players and the media, but I guess that’s all part of the deal when you have this guy on your payroll. I think it’s time for a new voice.

    I think a lot of people don’t want to accept what Avery says because he’s Sean Avery. And that’s fine, but you also have to understand that Callahan is defending his coach out of obligation. It’s fair to say that Avery doesn’t speak for the Rangers and probably never did, but judging by the team’s play it looks like there are a lot of guys that are not buying in and I think there is two major offensive stars who would benefit from being able to play their game and not Torts’.

  17. cruuuzcontrol - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Why does Callahan need to save face? It’s not like Avery called him out. Callahan did what he’s supposed to do as the captain… He immediately responded tersely and directly. Avery has no authority to speak as to what the players want and he has no special knowledge about what goes on in that locker room. As a former player for this team and this coach, people are naturally assuming that Avery has that kind of special knowledge. However, Avery’s opinion is essentially no different than any other talking head that speculates about these kinds of things.

    • budzo83 - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Let’s face it, you’re not exactly “saving face” when you disagree with Sean Avery. Avery was doing classic Avery and trying to get some headlines. Although he is hockey’s version of the boy who cried wolf, I don’t think he has zero credibility. In fact, having been the object or Tortorella’s ire he knows better than most the shortcomings of Tortorella’s style.

      I am not defending Sean Avery here, but I don’t discount him either. His second stint in NY was a self-fulfiulling prophecy: he didn’t do himself any favors but he was doomed to fail from the start. Management brought in a guy with a very particular skill set and a very checkered past and the guy is ostracized for -gasp- being the player that he is. When you sign up for Sean Avery, you get Sean Avery. It was no secret Torts didn’t want him there and it played out just like everyone thought it would. Sure he’s a mouthpiece, but he’s got more insight than you or I.

  18. nyrnashty - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Not sure why Callahan would add the part about Avery not speaking for the team while he was there. You would think he would realize Avery has nothing better to do these days except cause trouble and that can be more fuel for his fire. I always thought Avery had some good hockey skills (Hard skating, getting into corners fast, physical, even decent hockey I.Q.), but for some reason he wanted to act immature into his 20’s and early 30’s, which obviously ended his career early. It wasn’t about the ability if he had a different personality he would still be playing somewhere. Anyway this team reminds me of the Buffalo teams when Hasek was there. A goalie can only get you so far when you don’t have offense. Yeah we have a high payroll and look good on paper, but paper is light!

  19. nashernation - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    Totally agree that Nash has been the one bright side to this season. He played outstanding with Step and Cally last night. He is a pleasure to watch live and Sather deserves credit for pulling this trade off.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1750)
  2. J. Harding (1707)
  3. M. Staal (1574)
  4. J. Giguere (1510)
  5. J. Thornton (1454)
  1. A. Semin (1270)
  2. J. Spezza (1268)
  3. C. MacArthur (1246)
  4. A. Ekblad (1236)
  5. B. Bishop (1114)