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John Tortorella, the Concord native who is coaching the New York Rangers against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, is a man of pointed, if not barbed, comments after games.
It was that edgy personality plus an insatiable appetite for practice and a relentless will that enabled a skinny schoolboy standing 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 145 pounds to play for a Division 1 college and then in Sweden’s pro league and the minor leagues, and win more games as an NHL coach than any other American-born mentor, as well as the 2004 Stanley Cup title.
“John was self-made,” says Dooley Thorpe, who was Concord-Carlisle’s athletic director when Tortorella played there in the mid-’70s.
“He has outworked everybody to get where he is.”