The National Hockey League has fined John Tortorella $30,000 for his post-game comments from the Winter Classic, where he bashed the officiating. To put into perspective how harsh of a punishment that is, the maximum fine the league is allowed to give the players is $2,500. The fine itself is so unnecessarily high, but more generally it shows exactly how hypocritical and controlling the National Hockey League is. Keep reading to see my logic.
Please watch the below video:
Now, let’s compare the two. They both make sarcastic remarks about the calls being influenced by ulterior sources; Laviolette remarks that the call was one that is “typical” with being the away team in Montreal. Tortorella says that the Winter Classic influenced the refs to make calls in favor of dramatics.
They both heavily criticize the officiating with harsh words. Peter Laviolette calls the officiating a “disgrace” and a “joke.” John Tortorella calls it “disgusting.”
Both of their comments are available to the public. John Tortorella’s comments were during a press conference with media present and the NHL Network broadcasting it. Peter Laviolette’s comments were broadcasted on HBO and inevitably spread like wildfire from there.
You can make the observation that Laviolette was on the bench in the middle of a game specifically talking to the refs whereas Tortorella was talking to a general audience, but here is the problem with that; the NHL reviews each episode of 24/7 before it airs and has the right to remove anything they don’t want to remain. The NHL watched Peter Laviolette say all sorts of degrading words to the officials, bluntly state how terrible the calls were, and accuse them of letting their surroundings affect their decisions. They knew this was going to air and had absolutely no problem letting it stay.
And that’s exactly why the National Hockey League is inconsistent and hypocritical. On what basis does Tortorella deserve a fine and Laviolette doesn’t? With 24/7, the NHL has tried to sell everybody on the idea that they are being “transparent” and giving us a complete look of what goes on and how the coaches act. If Tortorella’s comments were captured in the locker room by an HBO camera then the league would have said absolutely nothing to him. But if it’s Pierre McGuire holding the microphone and the NHL Network with the camera then suddenly everything is censored. When Gary Bettman parades how unafraid he is to expose two teams and the interactions during games but then becomes both defensive and authoritative once it reaches the same audience but through a different medium, then he is being incredibly hypocritical.
So I ask, if the NHL has absolutely no problem letting the whole world see Peter Laviolette chastise an official and his tongue-in-cheek conspiracies, then why are they so afraid of Tortorella doing the same?