If coaches’ doghouses literally existed, then John Tortorella’s would be the size of Oprah’s guesthouse. The fiery New York Rangers head coach expects his players to match his intensity, so when a floater doesn’t fit that Ryan Callahan mold, hilarious things tend to happen.
Just bask in the harsh glow of what Tortorella said about Wojtek Wolski a couple days ago, via Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
“We can’t get him out of the tub,” Tortorella said.
Asked whether that meant Wolski was getting hot-tub treatment for the groin, Tortorella said: “I guess.”
(Am I the only one who pictured Wolski playing Eddie Murphy as James Brown after reading that quote? Yeah, probably.)
Considering the acerbic quote, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Tortorella decided to make Wolski a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. That being said, Wolski’s hefty $3.8 million salary cap hit provides easy fodder for anyone hoping to mock Glen Sather’s spending habits yet again.
Wolski seemed primed for the opportunity of his career on a line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, but groin issues have largely derailed that chance. Now it’s looking more and more like he’s another one of Sather’s Follies alongside Wade Redden, Chris Drury, Sean Avery and others.
On the bright side (probably for everyone involved), Wolski’s contract runs out after this season. We’ll see if he can get back in Tortorella’s good graces in the near future, but he’ll have to bring his work ethic above a “Jacuzzi” level for that to happen.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: