John Tortorella

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


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.

PHT Related

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Tortorella dislikes the part of the press conference where you ask if he dislikes press conferences

John Tortorella is the master of the one-liner

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.