For most of the NHL, hearing the names John Tortorella and Jay Feaster, it’s usually associated with some joke on Torts’ anger or Feaster’s inept management of the Calgary Flames.
Simply put, they are the butt of many jokes in the NHL for how their careers have turned out respectively in Calgary for Feaster and New York and Vancouver for Torts.
While Feaster was relieved of his duties some time ago and able to phase out of the spotlight, in a situation he had no chance as many wanted Calgary to contend but it needed a rebuild. He hasn’t faced too much scrutiny of late.
Torts hasn’t had the same pleasure especially with his antics this season most notably the incident in Calgary where he tried to visit the opposing locker room and caused a scrum in the hallway.
His current tenure isn’t going so well in Vancouver either as the Canucks are having a lackluster season and are currently on the outside looking in for the playoffs. Some of the losses this year were embarrassing including giving up seven goals in the final period against the New York Islanders.
Both of these guys haven’t gotten the respect they deserve of late—until Monday night.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, in honor of the tenth anniversary of winning the Stanley Cup, honored former players, staff members, Tortorella and Feaster.
It was a moment when looking back it gave a realization these guys aren’t considered the best in the business now but they accomplished something special ten years ago. They put together and coached a squad who won sports hardest trophy. With their help, it put the Tampa Bay Lightning on the spot in the hockey world and those gentlemen deserved their moment last night.
The moment was evident by their reactions as well. Jay Feaster participated in the SunSports broadcast as a color analyst and when Tortorella was announced for the ceremony, fans saw a smile and a jump in his step as he basked in the spotlight.
It was a special night for both but especially Tortorella. As his name was called, fans stood and gave a standing ovation to the man who coached the Lightning to their first Stanley Cup win.
Tortorella and Feaster are having their careers defined by their most recent ventures but many in the hockey world need to remember what the Lightning organization, the fans and the city of Tampa do. These guys won the elusive chalice and hockey’s ultimate prize.
They may be the butt of jokes but for one night at least, they got the respect that they deserve.