John Tortorella hates "that damn" Twitter (in most cases).
It hardly matters when it comes to the Vancouver Canucks, whose players rarely, if ever, post something even remotely interesting. But what of @strombone1, the (slightly) anonymous handle of spurned-and-returned Roberto Luongo – is the arrival of the fiery Tortorella in Vancouver the end of the goaltender's 140-character comedy?
There is no outright ban, happily enough, but the coach on Thursday made his view clear: "It's the most narcissistic thing I've ever seen, Twitter," said Tortorella in between on-ice fitness sessions at University of British Columbia. "I'm not going to handcuff them and treat them like little kids. There better be no information coming out of the locker room with that damn Twitter. It's nothing but trouble, to me."
Luongo's foray on Twitter began in the long limbo of waiting to be traded, during which, as a backup to Cory Schneider, his personality and humour, often self-deprecating, began to flower online – a mien under wraps in public. Last winter, during a string of starts, Luongo joked, "Being a backup is a lot funner than I anticipated." And in June, as Tortorella was hired and before Luongo was not traded, the goaltender tweeted, in all-caps: "I'm willing to stay, be the backup and play for free if they let me sit in at every Torts presser! #man #myth #legend."
The amusing tweet, at the time and more so in retrospect, went unread by one man at least, Tortorella.
"I don't even read Roberto's," the coach said Thursday, asking if his disdain for Twitter would curtail @strombone1. "I hope he stays out of it."
Luongo, whose Twitter output has slowed in recent months, did pop one out midday Thursday but it was about one of his other loves, fantasy football, asking a fellow fantasy-football freak, "Brady vs Jets or RG3 vs Packers?"
Tortorella does have time for Twitter, in one instance: charity. His Twitter account, @johntortorella2, run by his daughter, has helped raised money for animal welfare, in conjunction with his tortorellafoundation.org.
"I think it's tremendous for charity work," said Tortorella.
"But not for: 'Here I am, I'm having a roast beef sandwich, I'm saying hello to my fans.' That's just ridiculous."