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Tortorella plans to be fan first at All-Star Game

by Erin Nicks
John Tortorella, coach of Team Alfredsson at this weekend’s All-Star Game, plans to be a fan first for a change, and he’s looking forward to the opportunity.

“This is (Alfredsson’s) deal,” Tortorella said.” I didn’t see the draft last night, I’m sure both teams are very good. Todd (McLellan) and I are just going to get out of the way and let them perform. They’ll put the lines together, as well. This needs to be about them. I’m anxious to watch it. I can’t wait to see their stuff.”

In the 10th round, Alfredsson selected Dan Girardi, and Tortorella is thrilled that the Rangers’ defenseman is getting some time in the spotlight.

“It makes me happy to see a player like that be recognized, he said. “Sometimes our League forgets about people like that, and it restores my faith to see that happen. The League stepped up, and where credit was deserved, they gave it. He’s a big reason why I’m able to sit here and talk to you today – the way he’s performed has given the opportunity to be here. He’s turned into a real pro, both on the ice and more importantly, off the ice in the way that he prepares.

“Dan’s immediate family came over with us on a flight yesterday, and I think he has a few other family members coming. And how good is that? Seeing his little boy – these are things that he can share with his family. I just think it’s a great story. I know I’m not objective, because he’s so close to me because I coach him every day, but I definitely think the League got it right in bringing a guy like that in. “
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