Rangers coach John Tortorella will not be suspended, but he will be fined (the amount expected to be announced later today) for his comments about the officiating and an NBC conspiracy he made after the Winter Classic.
Tortorella spoke with NHL VP Colin Campbell about the comments, and told reporters today that he regretted the words he chose, and that he will personally apologize to the two referees—Ian Walsh and Denis LaRue. He also said he called and apologized to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. He said he “tainted” the Winter Classic, and that “I screwed up with my mouth.”
In case you missed it, here were the post-game remarks from Tortorella and Henrik Lundqvist on the officiating, including the penalty shot and some non-calls, during the Q&A at the podium:
Q. You just touched on it, the penalty shot and the few calls late, that they could have been made for the event; were you thinking the same thing?
JOHN TORTORELLA: I’m not sure if NBC got together with the refs or what to turn this into an overtime game. It started with the non-call on Gaby’s, and he gets pitchforked in the stomach and everything starts going against us. So for two good refs, I thought the game was reffed horribly.
So I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe they wanted to get into overtime. I’m not sure if they had meetings about that or what. But we stood in there. We stood in there. And again, I don’t want to—because they are good guys. I just thought tonight, it was—in that third period, it was disgusting.
Q. People who watch this game nationally never really watch a lot of hockey. You mentioned before you were surprised they called the penalty shot; do you think it was done to add to the drama so people would have something more to talk about?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Maybe that’s the only reason why he called it. You know, it would have been tough to swallow that one if they scored. But luckily he didn’t, and I think there was a couple of calls in the end there where I was really surprised, I must say. But, again, we came up big in the end with the penalty kill and just the way we worked