John Tortorella passes on criticizing Rangers in return to region

John Tortorella yells
John Tortorella appears to have retained his fiery bench presence.
Credit: Getty Images

John Tortorella has fond memories of his tenure as head coach of the New York Rangers. He just doesn’t want to talk about what transpired in his final days with the franchise, or how it is fairing without him.

“I’m not getting involved in that,” Tortorella told reporters during his press availability Tuesday morning at Nassau Coliseum prior to last night’s Canucks-Islanders game. “I’ll tell you something — I loved working for the Rangers and I love this area. We’re going to come back here sometime. I love everything about the area.”

Tuesday night’s game on the Island and Thursday’s match against the Devils are the precursor to the Nov. 30 main event at the Garden against the Rangers.

Tortorella was fired on May 29, after four and a half seasons seasons with the Rangers. He compiled a 171-115-0-29 record, and reached the Stanley Cup playoffs four times.

However, he and the players seemed to be on different pages when they gathered to say their goodbyes on Memorial Day following a five-game series loss to Boston in the second round.

Tortorella called the season “a sideways step,” while captain Ryan Callahan said the Rangers “underachieved.”

During the conference call to announce Tortorella’s firing, and in the press conference to introduce the hiring of Alain Vigneault, Rangers general manager Glen Sather described Tortorella as “stubborn.”

However, the organization has come under fire for its 2-5-0 start to this season. The Rangers have allowed the third-most goals (29) and have scored the fewest (11), while adjusting to Vigneault’s favored man-to-man defensive approach.

Presented an opportunity to tweak his former employer, Tortorella passed.

“I don’t work here anymore and I’m certainly not going to criticize,” Tortorella said. “I know nothing about what’s going on with the club. That’s not fair to anybody.”

Vancouver entered last night’s game with a 5-4-1 mark under Tortorella, who has routinely stressed the Canucks need to be “stiffer” in their end and along the boards.

“You need a grind in your game,” Tortorella said.

Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…