He got his money’s worth.
Rangers coach John Tortorella knew he messed up as soon as he said the words about the referees and NBC conspiring to try to get the Winter Classic to overtime (see post below for the money quote).
And whether he was being sarcastic (which I believe he was) or serious (doubt it very much), he will pay for it. Or Cablevision will pay for it. Somebody will.
To the tune of a $30,000 fine.
He deserves it, and he was right to apologize. You just can’t start questioning integrity of the league or its referees. It’s one thing to say they stunk, and they did. To high heaven.
It’s another to suggest there was some sort of bias, or that there was something crooked going on (and though we have joked plenty about the NHL’s favorites, and the Winter Classic being played by and for the Flyers and their owner Ed Snider and his TV empire, it’s mostly joking. Right?).
Here’s the official announcement from the NHL:
RANGERS’ COACH TORTORELLA FINED FOR COMMENTS
NEW YORK (Jan. 4, 2012)—New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella has been fined for comments made following Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“There is no acceptable explanation or excuse for commentary challenging the integrity of the League, its officials or its broadcast partners,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “People can disagree with calls by officials on the ice, but even in instances of the utmost frustration there is no justification for speaking as inappropriately and irresponsibly as Mr. Tortorella did.”