x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

New York Rangers coach comes up short in media interaction

John Tortorella, the New York Rangers coach, is in an all-out war with the American press.

John Tortorella dismissive and arrogant attitude has come under the scanner.
John Tortorella dismissive and arrogant attitude has come under the scanner.

John Tortorella, the New York Rangers coach, is in an all-out war with the American media.

Tortorella has a rocky relationship with the media at the best of times, and his combative nature has been on display in postgame press conferences all season.

Following the Rangers' Winter Classic victory over Philadelphia, he went so far as to claim that NBC, which was broadcasting the game, was in cahoots with the referees when the game was sent to overtime after the Rangers were whistled on a late penalty which resulted in a Philadelphia Flyers goal. That drew a fine from the league.

Now, things have deteriorated even further in the play-offs. Tortorella has taken to giving short answers - in length and in manner - to almost any question. Any time reporters have got more than a "No" or "I'm not going to answer that," it has been cause for celebration. Members of the media have taken to timing the length of news conferences, and they have usually numbered in the seconds, not minutes.

In Tortorella's defence, teams are protective of any and all information during the play-offs, for fear of leaking injury news or giving away strategies.

But Tortorella's dismissive and arrogant conduct is unnecessary and has turned the press against him. It's a shame because he is a sharp coach with a lot of insight and intelligence, but he's coming off as a bully and buffoon. A little civility would go a long way.

sports@thenational.ae