Friday, May 18, 2012

Tortorella's act getting old fast

When William Shakespeake wrote that "brevity is the soul of wit," the Bard had evidently yet to see a John Tortorella news conference.

There's nothing remotely clever about the contempt with which the New York Rangers coach treats the ink-stained wretches of the Fourth Estate. For a short while, Tortorella's conduct with the media was amusing, as long as you weren't one of the reporters trying to wring a 30 second clip out of a guy whose collective post-game musings amounted to 36 seconds. It's not Tortorella's job to give good clip. Good questions beget good answers, but Tortorella seldom even addresses legitimate queries with anything more than "we're keeping it in the room", "I'm not going to answer that" or the ever-popular "no."

Beyond being dopey, Tortorella's conduct is unprofessional. Trust me - most reporters are at least as loathe to deal with him as he is with them, but it's their job, and they consistently extend a professional courtesy that Tortorella routinely fails to extend in return. Somewhere along the line, Tortorella's hubris cost him his perspective. If it pains him so much to deal with reporters, maybe he'd like to take a coaching job in the East Coast Hockey League, where the media demands are a fraction of what they are in the NHL, as are the salary, fringe benefits and quality of working conditions. There's nothing like eating cold French fries on a 12 hour bus ride from Trenton to Kalamazoo to make you pine for the good old days of answering a few dumb questions at Madison Square Garden before grabbing a late dinner at your favorite Italian joint in the Village. And if he wants to avoid the media altogether, there are hundreds of minor hockey associations that would love to have an unpaid volunteer of Tortorella's stature and experience. A few 5:30am practices and overbearing parents demanding more ice time for little Timmy, and Tortorella would soon realize that his professional responsibilities in dealing with the media are not so daunting after all.

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