Tortorella:The Former UM Black Bear
John Tortorella was a UMaine Black Bear back in the early days of Maine hockey, from 1978-1981. Now his NY Rangers and Boston Bruins meet in the playoffs for the first time in 40 years.
Tortorella may be best known these days for his colorful post-game press conference where he “tells it like it is” about his players, about the media and even his ownership.
Back in his UMaine playing days, that first year of 1978, the Bears were an ECAC division two team. In the next two years, Tortorella and Maine moved up to D-1 and he garnered 78 points in 75 games.
After a brief minor league pro playing career, Tortorella turned to coaching. He’s been either an assistant or head coach since 1986. In 2003-2004 he was the head coach when the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup. A couple of years later he got fired.
Tortorella took over the NY Rangers in 2008-2009 and his teams have made the playoffs every year except one.
His brother, Jim, is a former head coach of Colby hockey and is currently an assistant coach for Dick Umile at UNH. Some reports have Jim as a possible replacement for Tim Whitehead with the UMaine program.
You can catch live coverage of the Bruins vs Rangers series on Sportsradio 92.9TheTicket.