ESPN is returning to cover the NHL this season and its broadcast studio got a jolt of energy Tuesday when word got out that former Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella would be joining the crew.
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic was the first to report that Tortorella would be a studio analyst for ESPN once things get rolling.
Tortorella has a little previous TV experience as he worked for TSN for a few weeks after being fired in Vancouver but then was hired to coach the Blue Jackets early in the 2014-15 season.
ESPN’s studio already looked like an improvement on what NBC had: Linda Cohn, Barry Melrose, Steve Levy, Kevin Weekes, Mark Messier, Chris Chelios, and Rick DiPietro. Now add Torts to the fun.
Obviously everyone remembers the contentious public relationship Tortorella had (has) with the media which covers his teams. The blowups are famous.
But now that he’s not trying to get something out of a team — and use the media at times to help accomplish his goals — he should be pretty insightful on the ESPN set.
FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS
The Panthers offseason is wearing down as we head into the heat of the summer — at least down here.
With a lot of the work done, let’s talk about it. I know you all have some questions about this Panthers’ offseason so I’m opening up the mailbox. Just click on the Mailbag link here or at the bottom of this story.
I’ll put all the questions together tomorrow and post them with the answers. So, let’s set the deadline for questions to be posted by Wednesday at 8 p.m. Ok then! (FHN)
— Chirping the Cats reviews the Panthers offseason. (Local 10)
— Steve Goldstein joins Hochman and Crowder to talk about stuff. (WQAM)
AROUND THE NHL
The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Ryan Murray on a one-year, $2 million deal that even had Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen joking about it on Twitter.
Murray is obviously on a prove-it deal after the second overall pick in 2012 by the Jackets has had some injury problems over the years. He was solid in Jersey last year and now gets a chance to chase the Cup.(CHN)
— The Red Wings took goalie Sebastian Cossa with the 15th overall pick in the recent draft and the guy apparently can do some serous chirping. (DHN)
— It sounds like Brock McGinn is happy to be in Pittsburgh.(PHN)
— The San Jose deal keeps on rolling as there are reports that some teammates would be OK if Evander Kane did not return.(SJHN)
— The accusations about Kane’s gambling are nothing new. (DHN)
— What’s the latest on the Capitals free agents?(WHN)
— It looks like the Islanders are going to get something done with Casey Czikas. (NYIHN)
— The Bruins are holding a development camp this week. Lucky them. (BHN)