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Canucks' Tortorella reunites with New York boy, family

Friday, 10.25.2013 / 1:05 AM / News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Canucks' Tortorella reunites with New York boy, family
Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella reunited with his friend, Liam Traynor, 12, who has cerebal palsy, during the Canucks' trip to the New York area.

NEWARK, N.J. -- Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella had some old friends standing with him as he conducted his press conference Thursday following his team's 3-2 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils.

Liam Traynor and his family, including his mom, Debbie, stood with Tortorella as he addressed the media at Prudential Center.

Liam, 12, suffers from cerebral palsy. Tortorella met him when he was coaching the New York Rangers, and the two became close while the coach's family also became close with the Traynors. They have stayed in touch even though Tortorella is now coaching across North America in Vancouver.

Liam, who in 2011 was featured in HBO's "24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the Winter Classic," was wearing a Canucks hat.

"He's a Ranger fan, but also a Canucks fan," Tortorella said after asking Liam who he is rooting for now. "He's a great hockey fan, a great kid and a great family."

Tortorella also had friends with him in his postgame press conference Tuesday following the Canucks' 5-4 overtime win over the New York Islanders.

"Liam and I and the family, we've had a lot of good times together for a number of years in New York," Tortorella said. "When I was let go out of there, we talked about it, and it was a little bit of a struggle, but we knew we were going to stay in touch. To be able to see some friends on [Long Island] and to see this family that my family is so close with, we couldn't be happier.

"This is more important than hockey, this stuff here. To join up with them, although just for a few minutes, it's just fantastic to see them."

Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6