Love him or hate him, there’s always something happening around John Tortorella, and it’s rarely a dull moment with him.
‘Torts,’ known for being one of the most outspoken characters in hockey, is also one of hockey’s great coaches.
During his years in the league, he’s been through his fair share of outbursts, and he’s made plenty of headlines because of his coaching style.
Tortorella always speaks his mind, and he’s not afraid to tell or show players when he feels they do something that’s not up to standard. Tortorella is an old-school kind of coach.
He doesn’t seem to be the kind who loves dekes or, for example, Michigan goals.
A few years ago, Tortorella got himself in the center of attention after Trevor Zegras pulled off an incredible Michigan assist.
“It’s tremendously skilled. For Sonny Milano even to yell ‘Michigan’ in the middle of a play in a game is skill. That’s a skilled play. My position, though, is it good for the game?” Tortorella said.
“I’m not so sure. And again, I’m not trying to be a fool here, but I’m just not so sure it’s great for the game. If you did that back in 2000, late ’90s, 2000, you’d get your head taken off. It’s cool, it’s cool to watch and all that, but I’m not so sure it’s good for the game.”
It’s just one example of how Tortorella is as a coach, and another came earlier this week. Tortorella, now a head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, had enough of Igor Zamula.
For the second game in a row, the defenseman took a delay-of-game penalty, and Tortorella, known for his decisive coaching style, took action by benching him for the entire third period.
This, and John Tortorella in general, was a topic for discussion on TNT earlier this week when none other than Wayne Gretzky was on the panel.
Gretzky had his share of coaches during his years in the NHL, and most controversial was perhaps Mike Keenan, nicknamed ’Iron Mike’ for his decisive style on the bench and in the locker room.
During the broadcast, Gretzky was asked straight up if he could ever play for Tortorella, and his answer was brutally honest.
”Could I have? Oh, probably not,” Gretzky said, laughing.
”If you want me to be really honest,” Gretzky continued, while all of his panelist colleagues laughed.
We always love when The Great One speaks his mind; this is golden!