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Torts threatens to ‘walk’ if cellphones go off

Sep 16, 2013, 5:23 PM EDT

Looks like we have our first official sound bite of the John Tortorella era in Vancouver. Below you can see what happened Monday when a cameraman’s phone started ringing during the head coach’s media availability at Rogers Arena.

“That’s going to be a major-league fine, I tell ya,” snapped Tortorella. “I’ll walk if cellphones go off, I’ll walk.”

Today’s relatively gentle admonishment (at least, compared to his previous run-ins with media members) has already been picked up by The Province newspaper, the Vancouver Sun newspaper, Metro newspaper, and the video was clipped by — just in case Torts was still wondering if he’d be under the microscope coaching in a Canadian city.

The Canucks host the San Jose Sharks tonight in a preseason game.

In the meantime, here’s a classic Torts-versus-the-media moment.

Related: Tortorella wants better working relationship with Vancouver media

  1. blomfeld - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Tick, tock, tick, tock …

    This was funny as hell when I heard it earlier today on TEAM 1040. Anyway, I have to say that there’s something really ‘likeable’ about Torts and we haven’t even started yet. Man is this gonna be a blast here eh ! :)

    • bauxjangles - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      If there is something likable about the guy I’d like to hear what it is cause I don’t see it. I think what most people like about him is that he isn’t coaching their team.

      • skr213 - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        I like Torts – I think more professional sports teams needs someone like him. He doesn’t put up with stupidity and he doesn’t cater to the prima donnas. He bag skates a soft team on their first day at camp! How can you not love that??!!

      • kaptaanamerica - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        It’s totally rude and bush league to leave your ringer on at a press conference or event like that.if I was torts I’d do the same thing.I’m glad torts gave him a glare.Canadian media is being sensationalist and the idiot media in Vancouver is just leading the charge.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:40 AM

        lol… it’s “bush league to leave your ringer on at a press conference”

        as if bush leagues even have press conferences.

  2. oquintero99 - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    I kind of agree with Torts on this one. It just pisses me off when you are in meetings or in classrooms and a cell phone just blasts off at high volume. I think it’s just disrespectful to the professor, teacher, interviewee, etc…Set it on vibrate or lower the volume.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      I’ll go you one further: Unless you are the President’s chief of staff, a doctor on call, or your wife is 8.5 months pregnant, shut it off. You probably aren’t so important that it can’t wait 20 minutes.

    • davebabychreturns - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Yep. Expecting a degree of professionalism from people in a professional setting is entirely reasonable.

      I mean if Torts had read the dreck coming out of the Vancouver papers he’d know it would be hopeless to expect that, but whose fault is that..

  3. villi5ed - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    NY Rangers fan here. And, overall, I think Torts made several good contributions to the franchise that will endure, along with some less desirable matters (see Kreider, Chris). But his inability to deal with the random phone ring that the poor
    media stiff was certain he had turned off (and we’ve all been there) makes him look like an A-hole of the first order. A
    bully? Maybe. Not sure. But I do know this —– if a superior of his had the same thing happen when they’re sitting down to talk about the roster? Tortorella would not say boo.

    • joey4id - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Wow! Excellent post.

    • davebabychreturns - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      Did you watch the clip? People are reacting like he dragged the offender up in front of the cameras by the ear and gave him a spanking, or burst a blood vessel he was shouting so hard.

      The guy didn’t even raise his voice as he pointed out that it was unprofessional and unacceptable, which it is.

      That’s all there is to it and if the media wasn’t sitting in front of him every day salivating over the next “overreaction” it wouldn’t have got a single post or story or second of airtime.

      But the press wants to talk about JT’s dealings with the press instead of reporting on the actual game or anything even slightly related to that. Which is a shame for hockey fans everywhere and speaks to the poor quality of sports journalism in general. Just a bunch of f*cking gossip and people who love to buy into it.

    • sunderlanding - Sep 17, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Yes but if Tort’s phone went off the superior would probably tell him to turn it off, and remind him to turn it off in the future, and he may not be polite about it. Torts is doing the same thing. If I was in a meeting with my boss and my phone was going off I’d be talked to.

  4. dsg1616 - Sep 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    This guy reminds me of Mike Ditka when the wheels came off his wagon in the late ’80’s.

  5. steverolley - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Oh my god! Torts said something to the media


  6. cspsrbums - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Once and Ahole always an Ahole

  7. watchfullhose - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    What a jerk

  8. bbk1000 - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    If Torts hasn’t coached your team, stuff it, you know nothing.

    He was good with the Rangers, but it was time for him to go.

    A dog lover to boot…overall a good guy.

    • joey4id - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      Yeah! No doubt he’s a good guy, but it comes to dealing with the media he’s an a hole. Everyone as their flaws.

      • sunderlanding - Sep 17, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        The media deserves it. Talk about a talentless job.

      • bbk1000 - Sep 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        I agree he’s tough on them but when I think of the media I’m typically reminded of buzzards……or perhaps ticks, so it doesn’t bother me so much…

      • joey4id - Sep 17, 2013 at 11:19 PM

        Right on sunderlanding. Lets disrespect everyone who has a talentless job.

  9. proudliberal85392 - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Nice to see Torts hasn’t missed a beat.

  10. jhuck92 - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Here’s to hoping he can find another journalist, another Brooksie, to bicker with in Vancouver. I loved his post game interviews in NY

  11. 22bju - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Torts is such a d-bag, he’ll take anything as a reason to exit an interview/conference. The phone rings, oh my god thats such an insult I’m going to stop answering questions….

    The world doesn’t revolve around you torts. Get it through your head, the only reason people are asking questions is because it’s their job, not because they like talking to you. A ring tone is not the end of the world and these folks don’t work for you. So for you to walk out because you don’t like that or think that it’s rude, get over it.

    Such a d-bag

    • sunderlanding - Sep 17, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Hey if the phone annoys him he has every right to walk out on them. If you’re so stupid that you can’t remember to turn off your phone, when you know the coach hates that, then you deserve to have him walk off.

  12. chef24g - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    I read half the comments before i heard the clip thinking he took some guys head off…. you are all nuts if you think he over reacted…… He is letting people know that he doesn’t like cell phones going off during interviews..What is wrong with that???
    Anyone who is complaining just a hater…He is a good coach with a short shelf life period…..He would be the type of coach to get them back to the cup…..

  13. stakex - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Its really amazing how people just love to hate sometimes.

    There is nothing to this video. Its common courtesy to not have your phones on during a press conference like that, and Torts was acting quite reasonably when it went off. He didn’t freak out, and he wasn’t a “d-bag” or an “a-hole” to the guy. All he did was say he was going to walk out of the interview if the press continued to be disrespectful like that, and I image most coaches would react the same. Don’t forget that coaches are forced to do these press conferences, and the least the media can do is show them some respect.

    Yet some of you act like he wigged out, screamed at the guy, and took a swing at him on the way out for good measure. Get over Yourselves. If you don’t like the guy that’s one thing, but turning everything he does into the end of the world because you don’t like him is immature and ridiculous.

    • dueman - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:27 AM

      I like how you conveniently left out the – “That’s going to be a major-league fine, I tell ya” part. The guy thinks highly enough about himself for lots of us regular folk to think he’s a douche. Him going out of his way to get a guy fined for forgetting to shut off his phone is the thing that is “immature and ridiculous!”

    • joey4id - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      stakex, is Torts always respectful when dealing with the press? No! He’s not! I’m not dishing the guy for his off the ice charitable activities. He does well. But! When it comes to dealing with the press he’s in no position to decide what behavior is respectful or not. He is by far the most disrespectful coach of the NHL when it comes to dealing with the media. Matter of fact, he’s much like Bobby Knight. Torts is a press bully, and some of you may like that. But! There is no room for bullies. Here’s an exceprt from an interview; “There are times Bobby Knight can’t do it his way—and what does he do then?” Knight replied, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” Torts is a train wreck waiting to happen and there are GMs willing to give him the track so that it happens.

  14. amityvillefun - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Leave it to Torts to teach people some manners. I fully agree. People in general are extremely rude with cellphones. No common sense or courtesy. Humanity should be held to a higher ethical and intellectual standards.

    • dueman - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      There are such things in life as “forgetting to turn your phone off” and also such thing as “forgiving the little stuff” like someone “forgetting to turn their phone off.” The later is what you call courtesy!

    • joey4id - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Yeah! Righr! Since when is Torts the compass for higher ethical and intellectual standards? People are rude in general with cell phones, but somehow in your little mind it’s ok for Torts to be rude in general with others.

  15. blackhawks2010 - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    It’s a train wreck already and the season hasn’t started. Mutiny on the Bounty in Vancouver. Will be interesting to watch this crash and burn play out.

  16. fahmundamahbalsaq - Sep 17, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Let’s the countdown (meltdown) begin:

    • Lunatic – check!
    • Bully – check!
    • Does not play well with others – check!
    • Learned nothing from previous jobs – check!
    • Beginning to deteriorate relationship with players and media – check!

    Sounds like another first round exit in Vancouver!

  17. haterrus - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    lighten up francis –Someone need to place a snake in his toilet

  18. icrew29 - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    stakex, could not have said it better!

  19. officialgame - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Reminds me a lot of Mike Keenan. Good coach, starts off well, team deteriorates, becomes unglued, fired.

  20. 8man - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    I’m gonna have to agree with him. I don’t like talking over a cell phone or having to repeat myself when they go off. I value my time. I’m sure he values his.

    Check the sound at the door, boys.

  21. donniesd - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Torts is priceless… right place & right time he will win another….. he will have them in tears in Vancouver…. Wrong Place & Wrong Team… Torts wont be long for this Job…. Imagine the owners response when he has the Sedin’s out washing his truck!!! I SAID NO MORE TWITTER!!!

  22. skeeterbarnes - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    I may not like being interrupted by a cellphone ring, but come on. You can remind people with a little bit of class and not act like a petulant child. Make a joke of it or find a way to allow the person to save face as s/he probably thought they had turned it off (who hasn’t had that happen?).

    This guy is a diva. Everything is about him and always has been. His reputation is one of someone who likes to break the diva players and make them tough “real” hockey players. In reality, he just does not like anyone stealing his spotlight.

  23. 2jivecrew - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Torts won’t last more than 2 seasons in that market.

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