John Tortorella Rangers

John Tortorella conducted another classic John Tortorella presser


The New York Rangers played a fairly important game against the Montreal Canadiens last night (which they won, 5-3.) It was Sean Avery’s regular-season debut and their chance to win three straight for the first time this year.

Understandably, head coach John Tortorella wasn’t in much of a speaking mood prior to the contest.

But he did have to speak, mostly to address the acquisition of D Anton Stralman and news that both Wojtek Wolski and Mike Rupp had been placed on IR.

So Torts spoke. For 43 seconds.

Here’s the full, scintillating transcript of what he had to say!

Reporter: “What does Stralman bring to the club?”

Torts: “Who?”

Reporter: “Your new defenseman.”

Tortorella: “No idea.”

Reporter: “Do you have any idea when he’ll be available?”

Tortorella: (Shakes head)

Reporter: “Any other news on Rupp?”

Tortorella: “Nope.”

Reporter: “Is he on IR?”

Tortorella: “I have no idea.”

Reporter: “How about Wolski’s MRI from yesterday?”

Tortorella: “I have no idea.”

Reporter: “Alright let’s try this one, do you know where Sean is going to start on?”

Tortorella: “No idea.”

Reporter: “What’s your Mom’s birthday?”

Tortorella (smiles): “I have no idea.”

This isn’t the first time Torts has been abrupt with the media. It took him all of 16 seconds to sum up New York’s 2-0 loss to Edmonton last month and he once walked away from a presser when asked about John Tavares. One might be inclined to complain about Tortorella’s behavior, but one must remember that when Torts is going, he’s one of the best quotes in hockey.

This paradox was best summed up on Twitter by The Hockey News’ Rory Boylen:


John Tortorella: “We sucked from head to toe”

John Tortorella

Rangers coach John Tortorella isn’t always the sweetest guy in post-game press conferences. I know, shocking news there, but after the Rangers’ 2-0 loss to Edmonton, instead of blowing up at a reporter to two Tortorella kept it simple.

Brutally simple. (Video at MSG website)

If you can’t see the video, here’s your verbal gold.

“This is gonna be really quick. I am not taking any questions. We sucked from head to toe and we need to move by it. So I’m not going to dissect with you guys. I know you have to do your job, but I’m not answering any questions. OK?”

We’re being blessed by wonderful post-game quotes from coaches. It was Barry Trotz a few days ago with his rear-end-reaming rant against his Predators and now Tortorella gets in on the act here.

One thing that we were already excited about just shot up the ladder concerning Tortorella: The Rangers’ appearances on HBO’s 24/7 are going to be absolutely electrifying.

It’s a bummer that the Rangers are agitating Tortorella like this now before their cameras are following them all over the place. If this kind of maddening play from New York continues, however, we might actually see Tortorella pop a blood vessel when “dissecting” the Rangers’ play with reporters in December.

Get your popcorn ready, kids.

Rangers waive Sean Avery; John Tortorella gives brutally honest explanation

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

There was a time when Sean Avery was a nice little “steal” for the New York Rangers, even if that had a lot to do with the fact that he came with a 50 percent off tag via the Dallas Stars’ faulty contract. In late September, speculation really began to bubble up that the polarizing pest’s slide down the Rangers totem pole has become so pronounced that he won’t even be on the big club this season.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports that those rumors turned out to be true: the team decided to waive Avery today. Brooks indicates that this should be far from a surprise, claiming that the Rangers basically made that decision before he boarded the team plane for their trip to Europe. He also speculates as to whether or not the team will risk absorbing his prorated cap hit by bringing him back up through re-entry waivers at some point this season.

It’s hard to foresee what exactly is in store for Avery, who lost a battle for a final spot with shiftier forward Erik Christensen. For years, hockey pundits have been quick to paste the ” … but nonetheless talented,” label on Avery while discussing his latest controversial comment or blunder. He’s never really harnessed those talents for enough good to offset the headaches he causes for his own team, though, and at 31 years old one cannot wonder if he’s running out of chances. (Avery’s contract will expire after this season.)

That’s not to say that this is the end of the line for Avery, however. Still, one cannot help but feel that Avery already reached his pest peak and that “Sloppy seconds” and the Martin Brodeur windshield wiper incident will dominate the first lines of his career’s obituary.

We’ll see what happens with Avery, whether he gets claimed by one of the league’s other 29 teams (through initial waivers or the re-entry process) or possibly works his way back up to the Rangers’ NHL roster. This certainly marks one of the lowest points of a very up and down career for Avery, though.

Update (5 p.m. ET): Tortorella is known as a straight-shooter, but even so, his comments about Avery’s demotion were surprisingly candid.

“I think we have better players than Sean Avery — plain and simple,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said Tuesday. “I can dodge it 10 different ways without trying to run Sean over. I thought he had a good camp.

“But I think with the makeup of our team, and some of the people we’ve added, and some of the youth we’ve added as far as depth put Sean in this spot.”