Tortorella Fined For Officiating Classic Comments

Following the poor officiating by referees Ian Walsh and Dennis LaRue at Monday’s Winter Classic, head coach John Tortorella spoke his mind, and it cost him…$30,000.

“It started with the non-call [when] Gabby was pitch-forked in the stomach, and then everything starts going against us,” Tortorella said after the Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2. “They’re two good referees’ I thought the game was refereed horribly. So I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe they wanted to get it to an overtime.” He added that possibly the NHL and NBC conspired to send the game to overtime to add to the dramatics.

Tortorella apologized Tuesday for his actions, saying he was wrong for questioning the integrity of the league and NBC, and that it was not something to joke about.

NHL vice president Colin Campbell issued the fine and said: “There is no acceptable explanation or excuse for commentary challenging the integrity of the League, its officials or its broadcast partners. 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 irresponsible as Mr. Tortorella did.”

As someone on Facebook said, the league drops $30,000 on a coach speaking his mind — with good reason if you ask most people — and then hands out $2,500 fines and two-game suspensions to players looking to end careers with hits to the head. Was Tortorella wrong in voicing his opinion to the media? Probably, but all of those late third period calls were very, very questionable.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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One Response to Tortorella Fined For Officiating Classic Comments

  1. Henri says:

    Sorry but Tortorella got it all wrong during press conference.
    First he was not ‘back against the wall’ and the atmosphere and the setting gave me plenty of time to rephrase his personal feelings especially if he was not sure as he said it.
    Then, why not speaking his heart out just saying : “I thought it was just odd”
    Nonetheless splendid coaching !

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