New York, NY – The National Hockey League fined New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella for comments about officiating in Monday's Winter Classic.
Tortorella was docked an undisclosed amount, reported to be $30,000 according to multiple sources, for insinuating a conspiracy between league officials and during what turned out to be a 3-2 Rangers victory while giving a post-game interview.
"I tainted the Winter Classic with my mouth," the 53-year-old coach admitted following a team practice on Wednesday.
According to NHL.com, Tortorella was quoted with the following:
"I'm not sure if NBC got together with the refs to turn this into an overtime game. "They're two good referees (Ian Walsh and Dennis LaRue), but I thought that game was reffed horribly. I'm not sure what happened there. Maybe they wanted to get it to an overtime. I'm not sure if they had meetings about that or what. I just thought tonight, in that third period, it was disgusting."
Explaining further, Tortorella said that his comments were intended in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but higher-ups in the league were still not pleased.
"There is no acceptable explanation or excuse for commentary challenging the integrity of the League, its officials or its broadcast partners," NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in a statement. "People can disagree with calls by officials on the ice, but even in instances of the utmost frustration there is no justification for speaking as inappropriately and irresponsibly as Mr. Tortorella did."
The Rangers survived a late-game short-handed situation as well as a penalty shot awarded to Flyers forward Danny Briere. Both infractions were committed by New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh -- including his covering up a loose puck in the crease which led to Briere's free chance -- in the final 5:12 of regulation.
Also likely in dispute was a holding-the-stick call on Rangers forward Ryan Callahan, who appeared to try and move the stick of Philly defenseman Kimmo Timonen away from his face with 1:06 to play. Timonen received an interference minor on the play.