This just in, the NHL has fined Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella $25,000 for well... nothing. You may recall that Tortorella's post-game, season ending media press conference was, again, a whole lot of nothing. Tortorella began taking questions from media members when he just shook his head and said:
“You know what guys? I’m not going to get into the touchy feely stuff and the moral victories and all that. You guys be safe."
He then got up and left, ending his media availability for the season.
Check it out:
Torts can thank this "outburst" for dinging his bank account by $25,000. Ouch.
Here's the official ruling from the NHL:
Maybe I'm beginning to sound like a cranky old man here but is this a joke!? Tortorella literally said nothing offensive or controversial. He was hot headed and decided to cut things short. After all, he did just witness the ending of his season literally minutes before taking questions from the media. Excuse him if he's not exactly in the right frame of mind to break down where things went wrong or to extol on the virtues of his team's underdog playoff performance. In effect Torts said, "Let's cut the shit" but he was respectful in saying it. Now he's $25,000 poorer because of it.
The irony of it all though is had Tortorella sat there and offered up boring answers to boring questions, the NHL would be fine and dandy with it. But because he showed a glimpse of real personality, he's the bad guy. Absolute nonsense.
Again, I can't help but feel like a cranky old man here, but is the NHL getting so soft that coaches can't even go the "No comment" route anymore? It's either all sunshine and rainbows or $25,000 fine. I can understand the league handing out fines in a situation like we saw with Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour when he called the NHL's officiating a "joke", but in Tortorella's case here it seems a major overreaction.
Then again, this is 2020 after all. Everyone is seemingly offended by everything so maybe I shouldn't be surprised? In any case, I stand with Tortorella on this. The man simply didn't want to deal in empty media platitudes following his team's gut wrenching playoff elimination. Who can blame the guy?