John Tortorella still believes he deserved to be fired after one season with the Vancouver Canucks. He reiterated that point today.
However, what he doesn’t believe is letting one “tough year” change a whole philosophy.
So to the future Team USA players that Tortorella’s been hired to coach at the 2016 World Cup, a message:
Don’t expect a different man to come walking into that dressing room.
You’re gonna get the one and only Torts.
“Don’t blow everything up,” Tortorella said. “Don’t blow your philosophy up because it was a tough year. You still need to have confidence in yourself, and stay with your convictions and philosophy.”
Consistent with those remarks, Tortorella plans to preach a “simple brand” of hockey at next year’s competition in Toronto.
“It’s about pressure,” he said. “It’s about attacking. And let’s forget about the X’s and O’s, it’s about a mindset. It’s about a team that needs to feel good about itself before this tournament even starts, needs to feel strong mentally about itself. I think intangibles in such a short tournament is huge.”
That’s not to say Tortorella hasn’t learned any lessons throughout the years. In fact, it was a willingness to admit his mistakes that really impressed Team USA GM Dean Lombardi.
“John’s had a lot of success, but what I was most intrigued by was that he was willing to admit he’d made mistakes,” said Lombardi. “He freely opened up as far as mistakes he’d made with players, maybe even times with his system, as well as the media. That takes a lot.”
Just don’t ask Tortorella to handicap the competition. When it comes to that, he hasn’t changed one bit.
“I don’t spend too much time worrying about the other team, because I think it just sends the wrong message to your guys,” he said. “This is a short tournament. We are going to know who we are. And we are going to play our game.”
Welcome back, Torts.