The Devils selected their new head coach in the eighth round of the BEARD Hockey Dispersal Draft and will reportedly sign him to a three-year deal.
John Tortorella has a bit of an abrasive history in the game of hockey.
Reporters and fans have noticed on numerous occasions how Tortorella often speaks his mind without a filter. He's accumulated over $160,000 in NHL fines throughout his NHL career, including a 15-day suspension after the infamous scene in 2014 when he tried to enter the Calgary Flames' dressing room to confront their coaching staff about an opening faceoff line brawl.
And now he's a New Jersey Devil.
New Jersey GM Corey Chernuka made the coaching announcement at a New Jersey Devils media availability this weekend.
“It’s with great pleasure that I announce that John Tortorella has been selected as head coach of the New Jersey Devils," said Chernuka. "John is a colorful character and an excellent coach. He’s more of a defensive specialist but is very adept at all facets of the game."
"He brings extensive experience and we are confident that John can guide us to a championship.”
Tortorella stepped up to the microphone to take questions from reporters, and as usual, already in mid-season form, he did not disappoint.
Coach Tortorella: Some of you reporters sit here and tell me I’m curt or whatever. I’m not going to have a staring contest. If you don’t ask me questions, I’ll just leave.
Mark Spector: What do you like the most about this New Jersey Devils team?
Coach Tortorella: Good center depth and good goaltending. They should be able to compete. We’ll see if they bring their game.
Mark Spector: What are your feelings on line combinations and captaincy?
Coach Tortorella: Feelings? Sh...I’m not going to get a (expletive) box of Kleenex out and pour my heart out to you, Mark. I’m not your wife or your therapist. We’ll sort out lines during training camp. I sure as hell am not going to put Nick Bonino on the power play, though. He stinks on the power play. I don’t know why, but he does. And (Jonathan) Toews will be the captain, with Keith Yandle and Mikko Koivu as his assistant captains.
Larry Brooks: Do you have plans to sit down with (AHL head) coach Ryan Warsofsky and come up with an overall coaching plan?
Coach Tortorella: I have suits older than Ryan. I don’t coach the Binghamton Devils. I coach the New Jersey Devils. Next question.
Mark Spector: What is going to be your overall coaching strategy?
Coach Tortorella: I don’t wanna tell you. Next question.
Larry Brooks: After failing as a coach and ultimately getting fired from every team, what makes you think that the New Jersey Devils will be any different?
Coach Tortorella: Ah Brooksie. Missed you. Missed you like I miss being dropped on my head by my mother when I was a kid. Everyone fails, Brooksie. Even you, with that feathery mug you call a face. Look, we've got a real chance here if the guys buy in. Just like Columbus. Just like the Rangers, okay?
Larry Brooks: I don't understand why you still have to single me out like...
Coach Tortorella: Are you going to cry now, Brooksie? Geesh man, get a hold of yourself. Yeah, I think you're done already. Listen, great chat, talk to yous all later. Brooksie, get the (expletive) outta here with that. Hit the bricks.
(Tortorella then waited for Brooks to leave before wrapping up...)
Coach Tortorella: Anyone else? No? Good.
Looks like interesting times are ahead for the New Jersey Devils.