Reaction to the departure of former Rangers coach John Tortorella since his firing Wednesday has been mixed, but at least one of his former players couldn’t be happier about it.
Former Ranger forward Sean Avery, who played under Tortorella from March 2009 until his retirement last season, told The New York Post on Thursday that he was glad to hear about his former coach being fired.
“Oh, I had a huge smile on my face, no question about it,” Avery said. “It’s not that I’m happy for myself. I’m happy for the Rangers and Ranger fans.
“When I was a Ranger, no one was happier to walk into the Garden every day than me. I loved the team. I still do. I want the atmosphere to be the best it can be for the players. I want everyone in New York to be proud of the team. That’s why I felt the way I did [on Wednesday].”
Avery, who now works in advertising in New York, has never exactly been on good terms with Tortorella. In 2008, as an analyst for TSN, Tortorella called Avery a “selfish [expletive]” and said he had no business being in the NHL after the forward made some controversial comments about Dion Phaneuf, who was dating Avery’s ex-girlfriend at the time. This season, Avery called for Tortorella’s firing.
Sean Avery (@imseanavery) March 31, 2013
On Wednesday, Avery took to Twitter again.
Don't ever doubt what i say :)—
Sean Avery (@imseanavery) May 29, 2013