On Second Thought, John Tortorella Isn't the Guy for the Blackhawks

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On Second Thought, John Tortorella Isn’t the Guy for the Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks

Ever since the Blackhawks announced they were firing Jeremy Colliton and that Derek King would be replacing him in the interim, maybe even before that too, people were firing-off names they would like to see as the new head coach of the Blackhawks when the time came. One name that came up, even from myself, when considering the new position in Chicago was John Tortorella. But I’m having second thoughts.

‘Torts’ has built himself a reputation as a polarizing coach both in the locker room and in the court of public opinion. He’s a fan of the grittiness of hockey and one of the remaining outspoken, “if you don’t like it, there’s the door” old-school coaches left from the modern-era of hockey.

But it is that old-school mentality that could end up keeping him out of the modern-era of hockey. Following the alley-oop goal from Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano, Tortorella was asked his opinion on the play. As you could imagine, with something that was as skilled, risky, and ultimately put hockey in a positive spotlight globally for just 15 minutes, ‘Torts’ hated it.


“Is it good for the game?” YES. Full Stop. That’s it, that’s the end of the debate, John.

Did you see the reaction around the hockey world, and the sports world at-large to the Zegras-Milano connection? You would have thought the two had broken the internet. I’d rather the NHL be known for flashy, skilled plays that look like they come out of a video game…which it literally did…than b*tch and moan about whether or not Jacob Trouba is trying to purposely concuss people.

“If you did that back in the late-90’s, 2000, you’d get your head taken off.” Well good for the league that there are only, like, two people from that era still playing the game. You know what also happened back in the late-90’s and 2000, the NHL had the two-line pass rule. If you’re not familiar with the two-line pass rule, it was a rule that forced a stoppage in play if a player passed the puck to another player from their defensive zone and crossed the blue-line and red-line before reaching the receiving player. Yes kids, that was a real rule in hockey.

What if it happened with a player on a Tortorella-coached team? “I’d have a talk with the player after the game.”

Could you imagine being a young player, one of the future American greats like Zegras, pulling off that goal and then getting berated by your coach because you’re not playing the game the “right way?”

Michael: Actually, yeah, it happened to Fernando Tatis Jr., who was scolded for hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch

I’m sorry, have the rules changed in hockey where the point of the game is to score goals? Because they scored a goal on the play. So what is the problem? They didn’t score it the proper way? They didn’t shoot from the point, hope for a redirection, and then have four players dive at a loose puck for a greasy, gritty goal?

Yeah, leave this guy in the Stone Age.

I apologize for ever considering him for a modern-era coaching position.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.