Tortorella talks relationship with media on TSN 1050 Staff

7/3/2013 10:03:34 PM

John Tortorella's much-maligned relationship with the media has been a major talking point ever since his hiring in Vancouver.

The new Canucks head coach was on TSN Drive with Dave Naylor on TSN Radio 1050 and his rapport with the media was once again the hot topic.

"No matter if it's in Vancouver or wherever, and I'm very fortunate for another stop here, when you're told you're no longer wanted as a coach, you end up reflecting and assessing," said Tortorella.

"I've done some pretty stupid things along the way... I'm going to try and get some of the stupid things out of the way."

Tortorella is going from one hotbed media market, where his relationship with reporters was always contentious, to perhaps an even bigger hotbed media market.

"I know the scrutiny and the pressure and the media and I think I need to do a much better job at cultivating a relationship. There will be mistakes along the way but I certainly need to straighten a few things out as we begin this."

It's easy to say the right thing at introductory press conferences, but Tortorella says he really has learned from the past, and will be better with the Vancouver media.

"It's not so much saying it, I believe it. Listen, I'm not going to go out to dinner and hang with the media but I need a working relationship."

As the 12-year veteran coach says, he'll work to be more amicable, but he'll never be buddy-buddy with reporters covering the team.

"It's not going to be a love-fest here. I still have a job to do."

Reports stated Tortorella's relationship with players in New York was at times as difficult as his relationship with the media. Asked if he cared what players think about him, Tortorella had a definitive answer.

"No. I don't think you can as a coach. In Vancouver, I think it's one of my biggest jobs to try and get guys to another level. They're a good team. They haven't gotten to a level to win the Stanley Cup. It's my job to try and push them there." 

"The way I look at it and the way I introduced myself in the interview was, to get to the next level, I just think there has to be a little bit more stiffness. And the mental part of the game, I'm anxious to work on with them."

While one of his main tasks may be motivating his players to reach the next level, another big one is dealing with Roberto Luongo and the team's goaltending situation.

"I watched it last year from afar and I thought those two players (Luongo and recently-traded Cory Schneider) handled themselves tremendously. It was a really precarious situation."

"I have talked to Roberto after the Schneider deal was made and I hope what will help him is that you have new guys coming in as far as a coaching staff."

"I think Roberto's a hell of a goalie. He isn't a backup... He's going to be the backbone of our team."

According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, Tortorella is looking to fill out his coaching staff by adding former Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan as an assistant.