New York Rangers forward Ryan Callahan is another player who has stepped up to defend his head coach, releasing a statement on Sunday that responded to Sean Avery's assertion that John Tortorella be fired.
"Sean Avery's comments solely represent his own thoughts and opinions," said Callahan in a statement released by the team. "He did not speak for us as a team when he was here and certainly does not now."
Avery tweeted on Saturday, five minutes after the Rangers' 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens that the Rangers should "Fire this CLOWN. His players hate him and wont play for his BS.... @imseanavery is #winning."
The Rangers loss on Saturday is their fourth in five games, dropping New York to 16-15-3 on the season and down to No. 8 in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers were expected to be Stanley Cup contenders after making a series of blockbuster moves in the offseason, including trading for Rick Nash.
"Our problem isn't with our coaching staff, and it hasn't been," said Stepan. "And I think if you asked everyone on our team, they would say the same thing, that that's not the case here ... I don't agree with (Avery's tweet) at all, no. I think it's safe to say that all 23 guys on our roster would say that's not the case."