John Tortorella has won the Stanley Cup and the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year, but the Columbus Blue Jackets coach said winning the World Cup of Hockey 2016 would be just as special.
"For a U.S. team to go into Toronto, a Canadian city, fantastic hockey city, what that atmosphere is going to be like," the Team USA coach told CBS Sports. "And to go in there and do our business and try to do it the right way, at this point in time in my career, it's going to have to rank as one of the top things because it's your country and it's the U.S. in Canada."
Tortorella, a Boston native, was an assistant coach for the United States men's national team from 2008-09 and in 2010 when it won a silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics. He won the Stanley Cup as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.
"Totally honored to be involved with this, to represent your country," Tortorella said. "We're really looking forward to it. I was very fortunate to win the Stanley Cup, [but] to do something in this situation and try to come into a situation and win it, man oh man, I'm not sure where you'd rank that."
Tortorella, 58, won the Jack Adams Award in 2003-04 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, leading them to a championship. In 15 seasons as coach of the Blue Jackets, Lightning, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, he is 480-408-37-86, with more wins than any American-born coach.
Video: Team USA head coach John Tortorella on the WCOH
The eight-team World Cup will take place from Sept. 17-Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
"We've been doing a lot of preparation," Tortorella said. "It's getting closer and closer, obviously. Really looking forward to it against the best players in the world. We will be ready to go."
On a team that includes Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens) and T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals), Tortorella said the challenge will be getting them to play unselfishly as a team.
"I think when you get to this situation and you pick your team, they are all standouts," Tortorella said. "They're top players on their teams, respectively, in the National Hockey League. For us to be successful, I think it's incumbent upon the coaching staff to relay to the players that this is a team and it's a team full of star players, but you have to buy into your role when you are developing this team for the World Cup.
"I think that's one of my biggest jobs, as far as selling that, and I think it's one of the biggest things players need to accept. There's not going to be guys playing 22 minutes as they do with their NHL teams, in this World Cup. The ice is going to be divvied up. It's going to be a little bit different for some of those guys."