Tortorella: Richards friendship 'damaged'

October, 1, 2013
10/01/13
7:32
PM ET
Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella revealed he has one major regret from his days in New York: his "damaged" relationship with veteran center Brad Richards.

Tortorella said he has not spoken to the 33-year-old former Conn Smythe Trophy winner in months.

"It kills me. It kills me," Tortorella told TSN in a candid television interview. "That kid there ... that kid there, I grew up with him. I learned a lot from him in Tampa. We grew up together in Tampa. I don't know where [the relationship] went -- see now you got me talking about him -- but yeah, it's been damaged."

Before the duo's time together in New York, Tortorella coached Richards in Tampa Bay, where they won the Stanley Cup in 2004. Tortorella was instrumental in helping the Rangers land Richards during free agency in 2011, but the relationship became strained last season as Richards' play regressed.

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Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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