(Editor’s note: Special thanks to our friend Yergs for this letter from the former Rangers coach. It’s possible the NHL 2013-14 schedule will be released at some point today, assuming the IOC and NHL can finalize their agreement for participation in the ’14 Olympics. If it is released early in the day, you will have to rely on Twitter and the widget over there ——–> for the news. I have an appointment this morning, and will catch up later if warranted).
John Tortorella’s Apology Letter to the New York Rangers Organization
By Jeff Yerger
To Whom It May Concern:
Since moving to the city of Vancouver, I have found a different perspective on life. I don’t know whether it’s the beautiful scenery or the riotous atmosphere, but whatever it is, I’ve been thinking more clearly since I left New York City to become the coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
These past few weeks haven’t been easy you know, what with the relocation and all. Finding a new house is tough business. I mean, YOU try finding a new mansion with a four-car garage and a dungeon in this economy. It’s like trying to find some talent in Taylor Pyatt! And once I DO find a home, I still have to re-train all eight of my Rottweilers so they know where to go to the bathroom and of course, which members of the media they need to keep off my lawn (luckily, Pierre McGuire’s scent is still fresh, so I don’t have to worry about that). Plus, Vinny Lecavalier won’t answer any of my calls, “Just For Men” isn’t sold in Canada, and flowers instantly wilt to my touch. Yes, a number of things have gone wrong, but I’ll keep it in the room. I’m certainly not going to disclose any injuries or stuff like that to you.
But as they say, it gets darkest just before the dawn (well, at least that’s what it says in my Chicken Soup for the Fired Coach’s Soul book Glen Sather gave me as a parting gift), and right now I’m beginning to see the light. I’ve changed, like Scrooge on Christmas day, with Mats Zuccarello as my Tiny Tim. I’m a new man, I promise, and I’m ready to come clean. In the past, I wasn’t always the easiest person to get along with. I would take my personal frustrations out on colleagues and players, leaving their careers in the ruins behind me. Man, I was mean, but I’m changing my scene and I’m doing the best that I can.
I know that owe many of you an apology, and I’d like to take this opportunity to request the forgiveness of a few people I’ve had in mind since the moment Mr. Sather imprinted his foot in my rear end. Admittedly, I’m not very good at this sentimental crap, but here it goes.
To the players – my once beloved Blueshirts – I’m sorry we didn’t go further this year. I had high hopes for you boys, but you just didn’t live up to “the Right Way”. Unfortunately, I guess some people just aren’t cut out for my caliber style of coaching. Henrik, I’m sorry for letting you down, but maybe if you worried about stopping a puck as much you worry about how your hairdo, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Richy, I’m sorry for benching you in the playoffs. Know that it wasn’t an easy decision. We’ve had a lot of great times together, remember? Unfortunately, my memory of you will now be tainted by your god-awful play this season.
Little Hagelin, I’m sorry you suck so much on the power play. Nashy, I’m sorry you disappeared in the playoffs. Perhaps it’s because I parked you on the bench for all of our power play opportunities, but really, it’s probably because you can’t handle the playoff pressure. Boyler, I’m sorry I couldn’t help you get over the loss of your boyfriend Prust, but man, you gotta move on. There are plenty more overpaid fish in the sea. Stepan, I once said you were our team’s most consistent player, and I’m sorry if you took that as a compliment.
Kreider, I really apologize for not playing you that much this season, but if you keep thinking “score, score, score,” you’re never going to make it in this league. Look at Gabby: he was a more well-rounded player this past season, don’t you think? Asham… do you still have Fedotenko’s phone number? Clowe and Powe, I’m sorry your names don’t rhyme. Del Zotto, I’m sorry I put you on the ice at crucial moments, because you suck at a time you can’t suck. It wasn’t fair to you or the team. Staalsie, now look… um… I hope you see… er… I’m sorry you had to watch… uh… never mind.
Finally, Captain Cally, I think I owe you the biggest apology of all. You embody the heart and soul of this team so much that I think it’s starting to become a serious burden – one that will weigh down on you for the rest of your career and cause severe back problems in your old age. But keep your chin up, at least your grandma still loves you.
And now, to the media: I realize we didn’t always see eye to eye during my time in New York, but know that I was only short with you out of love. I want you guys to be better at your jobs, because quite frankly, you stink, and I don’t have time to answer your ridiculous questions about the lineup or our power play. Just because some of you were probably beat up at the bus stop most of the time shouldn’t hinder your reporting abilities. Remember, you gotta stop coaching. There’s only room for one belligerent coach at the podium, and that’s me. Sam Rosen, I apologize for being short with you after the Buffalo game this year, but why do I always have to answer your questions? I don’t know why Buffalo was a hungrier team. Maybe they didn’t eat dinner before the game. Who knows? Ask them, not me. I don’t indulge stupid questions.
So again, I am truly sorry New York. Please know that my sincerest apologies come straight from my stone cold heart. It felt good to get that off my chest. I can now focus on ruining the hopes and dreams of a new batch of young promising players. I certainly look forward to working with the Sedin twins, that Luongo guy, and the rest of those whiners on the Canucks team. I wish you, the New York Rangers, the best of luck this season. Alright. Get me outta here, JR.
All the best,
Photo by Getty Images.