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2012 winter classic

John Tortorella Fined $30,000 for His Post-Winter Classic Comments

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02:  John Tortorella of the New York Rangers looks on during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The third period of Monday's Winter Classic saw some questionable officiating, and during his post-game press conference, John Tortorella wondered aloud whether a conspiracy might be afoot. Said the coach: "I’m not sure if NBC got together with the refs and wanted to turn this into an overtime game," before adding, "For two good referees, I thought that game was reffed horribly." As you'd imagine, the league doesn't appreciate it when a coach questions the integrity of its refs and suggests that maybe they're trying to nudge the game in a certain direction. So to the surprise of no one, the league handed down a fine last night. The amount: $30,000. Tortorella, meanwhile, apologized for the comments yesterday, explaining that they were intended to be "tongue in cheek." Said the coach: "They were sarcastic comments by me at the wrong time, and it was frustration on my part.” And also: “Not for a second, in no way, time, shape or form did I think anything like that goes on with our league, or ever will." He added that he felt he "tainted the Classic with my mouth," but that might be taking things a little too far. If nothing else, it provided HBO with one final story line for tonight's finale of 24/7. [Slap Shot/NYT]

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Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images