Sean Avery: I had a ‘huge smile’ when Rangers fired John Tortorella

John-TortorellaSean Avery played for former New York Rangers coach John Tortorella from 2009 to 2012, so the two are quite familiar with one another. On March 30 after the Rangers lost 3-0 to the Montreal Canadiens, Avery ripped Tortorella in a tweet.

“Fire this CLOWN, his players hate him and won’t play for his BS …” Avery wrote at the time, via Larry Brooks of the NY Post.

Tortorella was fired earlier this week following New York’s disappointing postseason performance against the Boston Bruins, during which its offense was borderline useless. When Avery heard the news, he said he was thrilled for the organization.

“Oh, I had a huge smile on my face, no question about it,” he told The Post on Thursday. “It’s not that I’m happy for myself. I’m happy for the Rangers and Ranger fans.

“When I was a Ranger, no one was happier to walk into the Garden every day than me. I loved the team. I still do. I want the atmosphere to be the best it can be for the players. I want everyone in New York to be proud of the team. That’s why I felt the way I did [on Wednesday] and that’s why I sent that tweet.”

Prior to his firing, it was obvious Tortorella was wearing out his welcome with his outspoken ways and pessimistic outlook. When the team was winning, those qualities were admirable. When the Rangers were losing, his attitude often seemed to make things worse.

“The day my NHL contract ended is the day I joined David Lipman and his agency,” Avery said, blaming Tortorella for the end of his career. “It gives me the ability to interact with New Yorkers every single day the way I did when I was a player, but on a different stage. Now I do story-telling and compete with other story-tellers in the advertising business, I’m a promoter, and really, who’s better than me at promoting?

“I said the day I came back to the Rangers that Tortorella was going to be the best thing for me in my career. Well, he was the worst thing ever that could have happened to my hockey career but the best thing that ever happened to my life.”

We know from experience that Avery also happens to be a douche, so take everything he says with a grain of salt. In any event, there’s something entertaining about listening to one blowhard insult another blowhard.

John Tortorella to critics of Brad Richards decision: ‘Kiss my a**’

John-TortorellaThere was once a time when New York Rangers center Brad Richards was one of the better offensive players in the league. Just three years ago, he racked up 24 goals and a whopping 67 assists in a single season. On Thursday night, that same Brad Richards was a healthy scratch for Game 4 against the Boston Bruins.

With his team in a 0-3 hole, Rangers coach John Tortorella decided it was best to give the struggling Richards a break. New York ended up winning to extend the series, but Tortorella was defending his decision long before the puck dropped.

“Don’t put words in my mouth,” he told the media before Game 4. “It’s not blaming Brad Richards. I’ve heard enough of that crap already. He’s a hell of a hockey player that’s having a hell of a time. I need to make decisions for what I feel is right for the team to win tonight’s game and that’s why I made that decision.

“This is a guy I’ve grown up with, a guy I love as a person and a player,” Tortorella continued. “But I have to make that decision regarding this. So kiss my ass if you want to write something different. It’s not about blaming that guy and I don’t want anyone to pile on him. This is my decision and I make it for the hockey club.”

Cursing is all part of Tortorella’s image, as we saw when he went at it with an official during Thursday night’s game. Many were wondering why Tortorella would scratch a guy like Richards who is capable of turning it on at any moment, but coaches do unpopular things when they’re coaching to keep their job. If the Rangers lose on Saturday night in Boston, Tortorella may not be keeping his.

John Tortorella in F-bomb exchange with official (Video)

John TortorellaJohn Tortorella got into it with an official towards the end of the third period of Game 4 between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, and there were audible F-bombs exchanged.

Torts could be seen on NBC cameras dropping F-bombs at the official, who also responded with some choice language.

“That’s enough,” the official yelled back at Tortorella.

“F–k you!” he told the Rangers coach.

It was so bad the announcers apologized for the language.

So what was Tortorella so upset about?

The Bruins had a line change and were able to get the puck down by the net with about three minutes left in regulation and the game tied at three. They were trying to push in the puck but were unable to. It looked like Tortorella wanted the officials to blow the whistle because he felt goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was controlling the puck (he wasn’t), and there was a delay in the officials’ call, which allowed the Bruins an extra chance to push in a goal.

Tortorella is one of the most brash coaches in the league, so it was no surprise to hear him go off like that. I’m also guessing this is not what NBC had in mind when they installed microphones near the ice.

Video via @CJZero

John Tortorella Holds Outstanding Press Conference: We Sucked from Head to Toe

Rangers coach John Tortorella conducted one of the best press conferences we’ve seen recently. And by press conference, we mean brief monologue.

Tortorella was upset with his team’s 2-0 loss to the Oilers Saturday night, a game where they gave up a goal and assist to top overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He was also frustrated that goaltender Henrik Lundqvist left the game with a foot injury. This is how his postgame media session went:

It probably didn’t help that the Rangers couldn’t score on a 5 on 3 in the second period, or that they went 0-4 on the power play. You would think the team had lost 10 straight or something, but they’re only 2-2-2. Imagine what happens if they actually drop below .500.

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