Tortorella refuses to discuss his silence after Columbus game

John Tortorella

      PHILADELPHIA – It didn’t take long.

      Just 13 games to be exact. Flyers coach John Tortorella, known for his occasional moody behavior after games without favorable outcomes, blew off his post-game press conference following Thursday night’s 5-2 loss at Columbus.

      Then, on Saturday morning during a pre-game press briefing at the Wells Fargo Center prior to the match against Ottawa, Tortorella refused to discuss his silence at Columbus.

      The latest tantrum certainly isn’t Tortorella’s first rodeo.

      He’s been around the block almost everywhere he’s coached, be it Tampa Bay, the New York Rangers, Vancouver or Columbus.

      Things got rather testy during his tenure in New York, where he had at least several infamous confrontations with the Rangers’ beat writers.

      In the Saturday morning media gathering, Tortorella was asked why he refused to talk after the Columbus game.

      “None of your business,’’ Tortorella shot back. “I’m just going to talk about the game. Ask me about the game.’’

      The Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association made the PHWA aware of the situation.

      An NHL spokesman said the league is “aware of the situation and handling it.’’ Players and coaches can be fined for refusing to speak to the media after games.

      Also, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was brought up to speed on what took place both on Thursday and Saturday.

      Fletcher said for the most part Tortorella has been cooperative.

      “I think during his career, he’s almost always talked to the media after every game,’’ Fletcher said. “I don’t think it will be an issue moving forward.’’

      The GM indicated he didn’t know why Tortorella wouldn’t talk at Columbus – whether it was hockey-related or something of a personal nature.

      “I can’t speak for John,’’ Fletcher said. “It’s up to John to speak for him.’’

      Tortorella’s reluctance to talk certainly could not have been triggered by the reception he received upon his first return to Columbus.

      The Blue Jackets basically rolled out the red carpet at Nationwide Arena, with a video tribute and a standing ovation in appreciation for what he had done during his six seasons in Ohio’s capital.

      Apparently no one told NBC Sports Philadelphia that Tortorella was not going to talk following the loss to the Blue Jackets. The Flyers’ home network continued to promote the scheduled press conference throughout its post-game show, then abruptly signed off without an explanation.

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Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.