It appears the Brad Richards-John Tortorella relationship is still a tad acrimonious.
Months after the Rangers head coach made Richards a healthy scratch during the Stanley Cup playoffs, Richards told the New York Post he’s unsuccessfully tried to contact to his former bench boss.
“I reached out,” Richards told The Post. “But there’s been no talking.”
Tortorella, who was fired from the Rangers gig in in late May, appeared to have issues with Richards throughout the lockout-shortened campaign, all of which reached a head during New York’s second-round playoff loss to Boston, in which Richards was dropped from the lineup entirely in Games 4 and 5 after playing sparingly in Games 1-3.
There appears to be a new wrinkle, though.
The Post reports Tortorella thought “that Richards should have played in Europe during last year’s three-month lockout.” If accurate, this really accentuates how long (and deep) the rift between the two went.
In October 2012, less than a month into the work stoppage, Tortorella was already voicing his concerns about players losing their edge and the “mindset from the New York Rangers that defines us.”
After reading that, it’s not surprising to hear that Torts was irate that Richards — one of the veteran leaders of the team — failed to play overseas and keep in shape while fellow Blueshirt teammates (Ryan McDonagh, Carl Hagelin, Rick Nash) did.
Of course, Richards was just one of New York’s over-30 veterans that opted not to play overseas, along with Marian Gaborik, Mike Rupp and Henrik Lundqvist.
Of course, Gaborik and Rupp got traded mid-season…so yeah.