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

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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.

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