Sean 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.