On the surface, it seemed like the type of thing that would drive John Tortorella up a wall. With the Rangers set to take part in the 2012 Winter Classic, his club would be documented in HBO’s behind-the-scenes show 24/7, which would give unprecedented access, the type of access that you would think would annoy Tortorella to no end.
A couple of years later, however, the now Vancouver Canucks coach can only rave about his experiences with pulling back the curtain leading up to that game with the Philadelphia Flyers. Tortorella was asked Monday if he had any advice for a handful of NHL teams who will be featured in behind-the-scenes TV shows leading up to the Winter Classic and Stadium Series.
“It was really good,” Tortorella recalled. “That was a great experience for us when we did it. At first, I think people were a little nervous about how I would accept it, but I think it’s great.
“If you’re asking me to give them advice, I don’t think they need it. They just need to be themselves because they’re quality people and quality players. I think it’s important for the game.”
Tortorella is notorious for being a little surly and unwilling to share little, if any information with the media and fans. For example, just before being asked about his experiences, the coach “kindly” reminded one reporter not to ask him about his lineup. Still, either Tortorella sees the benefit in this type of access or he’s just learning sometimes it’s best to play nice. Regardless, he’s publicly supporting it.
“If you had asked me that 10 years ago, you wouldn’t get a sniff of coming in our locker room,” he added. “But I think it’s really important for our game to see some of the things that go on behind the scenes and see what people are really like. People have a lot of misconceptions about people in our game and I think this type of stuff is going to be really good.”
See and hear more from Tortorella in the video below.