6 best press conferences of all time

Written by Compose.ly Staff

Most NHL press conferences consist of the same routine questions and answers, and they don’t really make headlines the next day. But in a recent press conference, Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter managed to turn a routine question into a viral moment, explaining why Jonathan Huberdeau took a brief reprieve during a game.

Whether they resulted in NHL soundbites or viral videos, these are the press conferences that stand out.

Hockey is a full-contact sport, and injuries are part of the game. During a 2022 playoff game between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche, Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington suffered an injury when then-Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri collided with him in the net. Following the game, Kadri was doing an interview when Binnington decided to throw a water bottle at him on live TV.

These two have some bad blood, as Binnington had been penalized earlier in the season for swinging a stick at Kadri during an on-ice scuffle. Binnington was asked about the water bottle incident during a press conference, and he replied that the moment felt like a “God-given opportunity.”

John Tortorella answers the phone

Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella has a temper. In 2014, while coaching the Vancouver Canucks, Tortorella barged into a dressing room to rant at Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley because he thought the Flames were engaging in misconduct.

Tortorella has racked up multiple fines over his career. In 2019, while coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets, he managed to create a soundbite when a reporter’s phone rang during a post-game press conference. He started out saying “someone’s mom’s calling,” before answering the call and having a brief chat with the reporter’s mother.

The post-Cup Kucherov interview

When a team wins the Stanley Cup, most of the players start celebrating before skating off the ice. In 2021, Tampa Bay Lightning player Nikita Kucherov hosted a memorable post-game press conference complete with beer, shirtless antics and lots of things to say. This press conference was held via video conference due to COVID-19 restrictions, and an obviously intoxicated Kucherov was alone on the screen.

Burke versus Lowe

In 2008, Edmonton Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe was not a fan of Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke. In the previous season, Burke took every opportunity to mock Lowe, including accusing him of “running the team into the ground” and spewing venom at the general manager. Finally, in 2008, Lowe responded, calling Burke a “moron” and saying he was in a “pathetic hockey market.”

The feud seems to have stemmed from a move Lowe made in 2007 when he signed Ducks player Dustin Penner to a $21.25-million offer sheet. At the time, the Ducks were struggling with their salary cap, and Burke went off on Lowe for overpaying players. Eventually the NHL commissioner stepped in to get the two general managers to end their public feud.

Burke’s 2002 playoff rant

Speaking of Burke, he made headlines in 2002 when he was the Canucks’ general manager. He first went off on the officials for what he considered poor officiating in a postseason series against the Detroit Red Wings. At one point Burke said, “Sedin is not English for ‘punch me’ or ‘headlock me in a scrum.'” Earlier he mentioned he was unaware that tackling was legal in hockey. Later, Burke would be fined US$30,000 for his remarks during the press conference, and he claims he was not notified of the fine but learned about it from the media.

Burke drafted the Sedin twins, who would go on to become fan favorites and Hall of Famers. He eventually left the Canucks to manage the Ducks, which would later result in his feud with Lowe.

John Tortorella insults Sid the Kid

Making his second appearance on this list, Tortorella was understandably frustrated after a 2016 game while he was coaching for the New York Rangers. In the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers player Derek Stepan was on the wrong end of a dangerous hit. Brooks Orpik hit Stepan knee on knee and the forward ended up with an injury.

Tortorella took his anger out on the entire Penguins team, insulting various players, including Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. He called them “whining stars” and “cheap players.” He went on to call the Penguins “the most arrogant organization in the league.”

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