When interviewed after his team's Winter Classic triumph over Philadelphia, he seemingly sarcastically replied to a question regarding a controversial call that resulted in a third period penalty shot.
Said Tortorella, "I'm not sure if NBC got together with the refs to turn this into an overtime game."
That comment alone might have been interpreted as a cheeky and off the cuff—no fine would have been necessary.
Moments later, however Tortorella made it quite clear he was not in a joking mood: "I thought the game was refereed horribly... in that third period, it was disgusting."
The Rangers needed overtime to beat the Flyers during the annual outdoors event, played this year at Citizens Bank Park, home of baseball's Philadelphia Phillies.
Upon issuing Tortorella's fine, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell remarked, "There is no acceptable explanation or excuse for commentary challenging the integrity of the League, its officials or its broadcast partners. People can disagree with calls by officials on the ice, but even in instances of the utmost frustration there is no justification for speaking as inappropriately and irresponsibly as Mr. Tortorella did."