Guest blogger: Yergs … a letter of apology from Torts (well, not really)


(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,

John Tortorella


Photo by Getty Images.



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  1. Awesome Post! I am starving for some Ranger news. I am listening to Mouth’s three prospect shows for the third time right now.

    He will never apologize that’s true. He owes me an apology too. But Glen is the one who fired him. It was his best move since the Gomez trade and the Tortorella hiring.

  2. Well done Yergs!! Pretty easy to picture torts alone in his Vancouver dungeon typing those exact words..

  3. Good morning, boneheads!

    Awesome read, Yergs! Thank you for keeping us entertained during those long, hot days of summer.

  4. Great piece! Entertaining to a “t”…thanks! Just what we needed in this hockey news black hole of late July. I’m waiting for the trade news, but suspect it will come later next month along with the Stepan signing.

  5. OneMoreThing on

    It looks like your copy of the letter had this paragraph removed,

    “Oh, and one more thing, I am truly sorry for not paying any attention to your unique and individual skills and just lumping you all together for my Robot Army Hockey Team. Did they even have robots in the Stone Age? Anyhoo, I have to go homogenize another entire team. Lucky for me, 2 of them already look exactly alike! And remember, you can’t block that puck if you have the puck so dump it in boys. Dump it in!”

  6. The dog days of summer….the only hockey ive had in the last few weeks was my kids forcing me to watch D3:The Mighty Ducks. Well, i say hockey….

  7. Good morning and happy Friday! Thanks for reading guys. Hope you all enjoyed it. Thank you Carp for allowing me to post the letter here. Boy am I lucky Torts sent that letter to me by accident.

  8. McDonagh’s, Nash’s fathers- in -law (not father in laws): “How do I know that you will be able to support my daughter?”

  9. Hmm. Does Carp’s calendar for this AM read: Appointment with Mister Greenputt? Hope so!

  10. Foghorn Leghorn on

    Those fathers-in-law are gonna be busier, I say, busier than a caterpillar at a toe countin’ contest.

  11. Ye nice all of that sarcastic “apologizing” for the players and still no accountability. Where have we heard that before? Nice to see everyone ignore that Asham article over –> . But hey he won a cup 10 years ago!!

  12. Good morning all! Yergs, that was hartnelling brilliant!!!!

    P.S. Sorry I;m so behind, but I am shedding tears for the poor little Hobbit

  13. I bet it was another brilliant decision to bench Asham against the Bruins because of his play (one of the better players in the playoffs). Didnt have anything to do with, you know, players, in this case Asham specifically, speaking out against the all-mighty’s careless comments to media (Hagelin and the PP, McDonagh and “none of his business” re: Girardi’s injury status).

  14. Artie Goodman on

    Excellent article. Now lets get on with business like signing Stepan, re-signing Lundqvist and what about Zuc?

  15. Asham was playing well, more goals than Nash and a little energy boost. Made perfect sense to scratch him. Torts could sure run things his way, conform or be benched. Be cool or be cast out.

  16. So players have an agreement for the Olympics. So the schedule should be out momentarily…

  17. Can someone please figure out which of the non IIHF affiliated teams will suffer from losing an NHL player?

  18. Asham clearly said something to Torts. Could that be the reason why the Rangers waived him? Seems a bit odd though that it happened *after* Torts was fired, no?

  19. Only in speculation ilb. That he “stood up for the team” as a veteran. That SNY blurb today is the first I heard of a player actually saying what everyone was thinking, of course I could be mistaken.

  20. They put Powe on Waivers the same day, so maybe it was unrelated to the playoff benching?

  21. So when will the Stanley Cup be awarded if there is a nearly 1 month long break? WE GET SO MUCH HOCKEY THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Rob in Beantown on

    The only bad thing is its going to SUCK when the games are played at 10 am so you can’t watch them, or you need to go out of your way to have them not be spoiled, but then they get spoiled anyway. Ugh. It’s going to suck.

  23. Of course it was unrelated, SeeeDubb. My point is that we know very little, and trying to make conclusions. I think his health issues, inability to stay in the lineup for sustained periods of time was the main reason they cut him.

  24. Foghorn Leghorn on

    If the Olympic games, I say, Olympic games were being held in the good ol’ South there would be no such predicament. Predicament, that is.

  25. Leetchhalloffame on

    Still hoping Torts wants to have Pyatt on his team. Take out Pyatt…PLEASE!

  26. I *LOVE* Olympic Hockey. LOVE. I am so excited for this 2013-2014 HOCKEY season. Unreal.

  27. If you guys haven’t seen the draws yet:

    Group A Group B Group C
    Russia Austria Czech Republic
    Slovenia Canada Latvia
    Slovakia Finland Switzerland
    United States Norway Sweden

  28. Epic Fail. Here they are in legible format:

    Group A: Russia Slovenia Slovakia United States

    Group B: Austria Canada Finland Norway

    Group C: Czech Republic Latvia Switzerland Sweden

  29. Ought to be some good hockey! Maybe the NHL Network will have some coverage. I think that was a sticking point or maybe I’m just making it up because I would like that.

  30. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Morning ILB and all!

    Great work!

    What happened to the hobbit?

    I liked asham

  31. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I’m just meh on Olympic hockey, it’s certainly better than no hockey, but NHL is way better IMHO

  32. Rob in Beantown on

    Olympic hockey is a great change of pace and gives you a mostly new group to cheer for. It’s really novel, which is one of the reasons I like it. Also cause *USA!! USA!!*



    *Pacific Division*




    Los Angeles


    San Jose


    *Central Division*






    St. Louis



    *Metropolitan Division*



    New Jersey

    NY Islanders

    NY Rangers




    *Atlantic Division*







    Tampa Bay


  34. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I hate the Olympic break for the NHL season, I understand it, just don’t like it.

    Division names released yet?

  35. See above, Wick.

    New NHL division names: Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and. Atlantic.

  36. It could be U18, U20, or the Olympics it just doesn’t get any better than that.

    Grimaldi winning gold in the U20 for the USA in January ’13.
    Kristo winning gold in 2010 with Stepan, Kreider, & Bourque.
    Parisie winning gold in 2004.
    Johnson winning gold in 1980.

    But the game I seen live in Fargo was the U18 USA vs Russia when Ryan Bourque, Cam Fowler, Nick Mattson, and Jack Campbell beat Vladimir Tarasenko & Alexander Burmistrov in 2009.

    Great games! Great memories!!

  37. That Rocco Grimaldi goal was an awesome, awesome moment for USA. John Gibson follows in the footsteps of Al Montoya and Rick DiPietro.

  38. Rob in Beantown on

    It’s funny that there’s still an Atlantic Division but it contains zero of the teams that used to be in the Atlantic Division

  39. Metropolitan division. What a joke. This sounds like a Blades of Steel type video game.

  40. Rob in Beantown on

    I guess that means Seattle won’t be getting a team called the Metropolitans anytime soon

  41. Rob in Beantown on

    Or maybe they will, but they’ll be in the Pacific division, as opposed to the Metropolitan division. Cause that’s how the NHL rolls

  42. I agree Manny – Both of them :)

    Player of the game, that didn’t play the previous game.

    He’s small, but he steals the show when he’s on the ice!

    Ask Kristo :)

  43. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    When is the trade deadline for the upcoming season?

    Has it been announced yet?

  44. President threatens to cancel Moscow Summit over Snowden affair. Will we boycott winter Olympics? Unlikely.

  45. MDZ tweets over there -> that he is back home and received a birthday card from his Nonno!

    SHHHHHEEEEEESSSSSH! Is he still on this team?

  46. I love the twitter hooplah recommending Sean Avery take over for Shanahan. SO FUNNY>

  47. Every team raved of his character, then watched him proceed through waivers. I like Ash. Problem: 36 years old, recurring back problems.

  48. Reminds me of some other player that every other team also didn’t want around…..

  49. And a coach that the US team didnt want anywhere near their players. After according to most here being the favorite.

  50. Rob in Beantown on

    Seriously though, there is no rhyme or reason at all the new division names. Atlantic and Pacific kind belong together, but LOL Central and METROPOLITAN? Is this a joke?

  51. Rob in Beantown on

    How about the Atlantic Division and the Division Formerly Known as the Atlantic Division

  52. Foghorn Leghorn on

    They oughta, I say, they oughta adopt some more traditional names for the divisions. Divisions, that is.

  53. Rob in Beantown on

    The hockey world has been waiting for division names for months, but the end result looks like Bettman totally forgot these were due until today, so he just made them up this morning an hour before they were announced.

  54. Rob in Beantown on

    These should be the division names:

    Snowbird Division
    Crosby Division
    Bettman Division
    CCCP Division

  55. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    With penner gone, I would look at morrow or maybe tootoo or big Bert if either is available from the wings.

    On smaller contracts obviously

  56. after looking over the scheudle 100x in lats hour it looks brutal on paper.

    positives play devs/isles 5x with an away game being at yankee stadium for both. isles 3x at home so only one trip to coliseum. devs 2x at home and 2x at rock and 1 yankee stadium.

    torts on saturday afternoon thanksgiving weekend at garden

    end season in montreal. we need to be clinched prior or were dead

  57. I like those names Rob.

    Adam Proteau ?@Proteautype 1h

    For the record, my NHL division name choices were 1. Gunter 2. Glieben 3. Glauchen 4. Globen.

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