Notorious former National Hockey League agitator Sean Avery has always been known to stir up controversy no matter where he goes, and now that he has published a new book he has once again brought controversy to the NHL.
In the book Avery details how little respect both he and his teammates had one for coach in particular, and while his comments about the coach are certainly damning, Avery also goes out of his way to name active NHL players who also hated that coach. That coach is none other than John Tortorella.
The relevant segment of Avery's bookvia Yahoo Sports:
“Tortorella has a reputation as a hard-ass, but not if you know him as a player. We used to laugh at him all the time. There was always someone in the dressing room who wanted to take their skate and decapitate him or take their stick and whack him over the head with it. Marion Gaborik despised him with every bone in his body. Even Hank Lundqvist, an even-keeled Swede who was usually in his own world, thought Tortorella was a terrible manager of pro athletes. And he can’t skate and stickhandle a puck at the same time, and he doesn’t realize we don’t take him seriously because of that.”
Tortorella is still currently coaching in the NHL for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and given that he has reportedly had conflicts with members of that roster this news leaking out likely won't do him any favors.
Of course this is Sean Avery we are talking about so you have to take what he says with a grain of salt. Hwever given the reputation Tortorella has had among some of his former players Avery's statements can't be dismissed out of hand.