April 26, 2009

How to lose job prospects and alienate your team...

No, shockingly, this has absolutely nothing to do with Sean Avery. This has everything to do with his head coach, John Tortorella.

As we all know by now, John Tortorella was suspended for today's critical Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Rangers and the Capitals. The Rangers could have eliminated the Capitals on their own home ice at the garden after enjoying 2-0 and 3-1 series leads. Instead, John Tortorella watched from a skybox as the Rangers were again manhandled by the Capitals and now have to head to the Washington National Zoo (aka the Verizon Center) for Tuesday's Game 7 against the hottest goaltender in the playoffs and a team that is full of confidence.

What did Tortorella do to get himself suspended? Well you know it had to be something pretty insane for the NHL to take such unprecedented action. You know right. See for yourself:

(video is a little annoying in how it is constructed, but offers the best view of Tortorella's batshit craziness)

Now when this first took place, the broadcasters on both Versus (U.S.) and TSN (Canada) speculated that Tortorella had beer thrown on him, as if this would justify the batshit crazy behavior of Tortorella. Not so fast, my friends...

From NHL League Disciplinarian Colin Campbell:

“We do not take this action lightly. It is the result of an entire day of investigation and evaluation that included the retrieval and review of videotape of the incident and discussions with Mr. Tortorella, other Rangers’ bench personnel and a number of other people, including the security personnel at the Verizon Center.... That investigation revealed that Mr. Tortorella squirted a fan with water before Mr. Tortorella was doused with a beverage.”

Are you fucking kidding me?!?! So let's replay. Tortorella is getting heckled in a visiting arena when his team is getting blown out. So instead of letting it go, he squirts a fan with water. THEN he gets a beer thrown on him. THEN he goes batshit crazy, spiking his water bottle into the crowd (hitting a female fan in the face, no less) and then grabs a hockey stick and shakes it menancingly at the crowd (who I'm sure were really scared with that giant piece of glass separating Tortorella from the crowd). And oh yes, as The Washington Post reported, after event staff and D.C. police interviewed members of the crowd, not a single spectator was ejected for any misconduct.

Tortorella, who in the same game had scratched Sean Avery to send a message, totally and completely snapped. No doubt about it. He lost it. And then he gets his ass suspended for the next game and leaves his assistant coach (Jim Schoenfeld who the Caps tossed aside like yesterday's newspaper a few years ago) completely unprepared and in the head coach's role for a critical playoff game.

Here's to you, John Tortorella. Good luck explaining this one away in your future job interviews. You better pray to God, Allah, Jesus, Vishnu, and Jobu, that your team wins Game 7.

On behalf of Caps fans though, we thank you for your support.

7 Responses:

Nikhil Verma said...

At this point, I turn to our esteemed attorneys J-Red and Jeremy for legal analysis. Can the woman press charges and/or sue if she wanted to? Or since it happened during a game (aka "heat of competition"), is Tortorella protected?

Jeremy said...

I can analyze under Maryland law, and I assume that D.C. law is much the same... and also bearing in mind that I am no criminal attorney, just exposed heavily to it in law school and during a clerkship... in Maryland, he could be charged with second degree assault, which is essentially any unwanted touching of another person without that person's consent. There are very few defenses to it, one of which that does exist, however, is self defense. Tortorella would have to argue that he reasonably felt that he was in imminent fear of harm from the spectators and therefore took REASONABLE measures in self defense to thwart the event from happening. I don't think that Tortorella would meet either of the two burdens to establish a defense. Bear in mind, this is under Maryland law. District of Columbia law is much the same.

Civilly, she could probably hire some contingency fee lawyer to sue the NHL, the New York Rangers, and Tortorella personally, for battery. However, her damages are nominal and she'd really just be giving the legal profession another bad rap by filing such a suit. It's not like she even had so much as a scrape from the toss. I guess Tortorella's arm isn't really that good.

Jeremy said...

Oh, and he's not protected because it happened during the scope of his employment (i.e. during the game). And the "heat of passion" defense definitely would not apply.

Jeremy said...

Also, don't look now, but the Capitals fans are planning for a non-team sanctioned promotion for Tuesday night's Game 7... water bottle night.


J-Red said...

I absolve him, but only because the Caps drew even.

"ben" said...

Way to go, WASHINGTON Capitals. It's great to see the WASHINGTON team win game 7. I love WASHINGTON! Hooray WASHINGTON!

J-Red said...

They're just the Caps.

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