Columnist on John Tortorella leaving New York: ‘Ding Dong the Witch is dead’

Wickedness personified.

We had a little fun at John Tortorella’s expense on Monday, making a ringtone out of his brief but firm chastisement of a cameraman unfortunate enough to receive a phone call during a scrum. It was a pretty stupid little venture, which is, coincidentally, the mission statement of this blog.

But some of our readers took it pretty seriously, and accused us of blowing the moment out of proportion. One said we were sensationalizing the incident. Over at Reddit, it was suggested that we were going out of our way to get at Tortorella, perhaps in a bid to get famous.

That’s not the case. If you want to see someone that’s really out to get Tortorella, look no further than Larry Brooks, the coach’s former sparring partner in New York. To bring you up to speed:

Oh how fun.

Tortorella may be gone from the Big Apple, but he’s not forgotten, and if you like your columns agenda-driven, Brooks’ latest — “Rangers embracing lighter, breezier air without Tortorella” — is a gem. Here’s how it opens:

You don’t have to squint all that hard to read between the lines of the “Clean Slate…Grab it” motto the Rangers are wearing on their sleeves — and their training camp T-shirts — in order to deduce this fresh start everyone, but everyone, apparently craves is as close to an organizational repudiation of the John Tortorella Era as anything you’re ever going to get.

About the only way it would be more obvious is if the players had been issued licensed apparel bearing the phrase, “Ding Dong the Witch is dead.”

And now, to formally welcome Alain Vigneault to New York, is the Lollipop Guild.

What follows is Brooks’ attempt to goad someone — anyone — into saying an unkind word about the Tortorella regime. Instead, he has to settle for Brad Richards diplomatically attempting to take the air out of the whole angle. Hey Brad, that “clean slate” thing is the Rangers way of saying Tortorella was a buttface, right?

“I guess everyone can analyze the hell out of it, but I’m not looking into it all that deep,” Richard says. “To me, it’s about the fresh start a team gets when there’s a new coaching staff.

Yeah, but, like, isn’t Tortorella a huge jerk? Don’t you hate him? How about you, Lundqvist? Tortorella leaving is the best, right? The “clean slate” thing is about what a dink he was, right?

“It’s the same thing now as when it was when Torts came in and Tom [Renney], Perry [Pearn] and Mike [Pelino] left. It means a new start where everyone comes in with an open mind and without baggage.”

Ugh. More like Henrik LAMEqvist.

But while the Rangers weren’t giving up the money quote that Brooks was looking for, the New York Post columnist remained undeterred. Here’s how it ends:

“It’s totally different,” said Richards, on the other side of the equivalent of a bad divorce from Tortorella. “You have to live in it to be able to fully appreciate and understand it, but you can just feel it.”

Clean slate. Fresh start. Which old witch?

The wicked witch.

Yeah. So let’s not go around claiming your friends at Pass it to Bulis are the ones gunning for Tortorella. Heck, I’m a full-blown coward. The only reason I don’t hide behind a pseudonym is I’m also a narcissist with a great name.

Plus, I mean, think about it: we’re not the local guys that are bound to get Tortorella’s goat. Not when some folks are already questioning his use of Ryan Kesler before he’s even coached a game from the bench.

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8 comments

  1. peanutflower
    September 17, 2013

    More like Henrik LAMEqvist. Hahaha.

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  2. James W.
    September 17, 2013

    Believe it or not, I’m the person that wrote the top comment on that Reddit thread.

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t talking about you guys at PITB ; I love you silly gooses. I’m even wearing my Tanner Glass Scrabble Champ shirt right now. I was talking about Lalji and Gallagher et al. who seem to be reporting on Torts’ interaction with the media more so than the team.

    As bloggers, you provide commentary on the stories in the media.. and sure, you’re more in the media now than ever, but you’re not the ones with micorphones and tape recorders at press conferences directly antagonizing the coach.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      September 17, 2013

      James, you turncoat!

      It’s all good. Just made me chuckle.

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    • Pukeko
      September 17, 2013

      James W,
      I appreciate that you took the time to write that.
      It seems to me that there is a few media types that are gunning to get a rise out of the new boss to gain some notoriety at the expense at their own self respect/journalistic *ahem* dignity.
      Lalji, Gallagher, and many others at both major Vancouver print outlets are patently fools falling over each other and themselves to get readership. Its embarrassing to themselves and to our city.
      Most noteworthy to me was the humorous video clip of Botchford and Willes, where the buffoonery was at an all time high with Botchford assuming the role of that annoying kid with mustard on the corner of his mouth and shirt pointing out that Ryan Kesler had said a “bad word”. How embarrassing. No Jason- he called your question what it was, now sit down and get back to your Choose Your Own Adventure book.

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  3. Mark Ragnar
    September 17, 2013

    How did I know the link would be to Gallagher before I even clicked it?

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  4. Chris the Curmudgeon
    September 17, 2013

    So, for real, your name is actually Harrison Mooney? I sort thought it was a pseudonym.

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    • Tengeresz
      September 17, 2013

      I was wondering the same thing CC.

      Don’t begrudge people who are born to great(ness) names. As I recall you had to earn your moniker the hard way, but ending up with a good one is what counts.

      All my life I’ve hoped for a cool nickname. Sadly, I have to hide behind a pen name.

      Sigh.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      September 17, 2013

      Haha it totally is. I get asked all the time if it’s a pen name.

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