Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tortorella fired as New York Rangers head coach

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that head coach John Tortorella has been relieved of his coaching duties with the team.

A conference call to officially announce the firing of the controversial and rough-edged coach will be held at 2:15 pm Wednesday afternoon, according to SNY.

Rumors of Tortorella being fired had been floating around Madison Square Garden ever since the Rangers disappointing 2013 season ended and they intensified when the team was bounced from the playoffs by the Boston Bruins over the weekend. He still has one year left on his contract.

Under Tortorella’s guidance, the Rangers posted their second most wins all-time in a single season with 51, and tied for second in franchise history with 109 points in 2011-12.  He became the 30th coach in NHL history to coach 800 games on March 27, 2012, at Minnesota (3-2 win), and won his 100th game as Rangers Head Coach with a 5-3 win on November 5, 2011, vs. Montreal.  On March 26, 2013, Tortorella became the 30th head coach in league history to register his 400th NHL coaching victory, with a 5-2 win at Philadelphia. He also passed Tom Renney for fourth on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list with a 3-2 shootout victory on April 10, 2013 vs. Toronto.
Tortorella was named the 34th head coach in franchise history on February 23, 2009.  He ranks first on the NHL’s all-time wins list among U.S.-born coaches with 410 career victories, having passed Peter Laviolette with a 4-3 shootout win at Montreal on March 17, 2009.
Prior to returning to the Rangers, Tortorella served as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning for seven seasons.  Under his guidance, Tampa Bay compiled a 239-222-36-38 record in 535 games.  He led the Lightning to four consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff appearances, including two Southeast Division Championships in 2002-03 and 2003-04.  In 2003-04, Tortorella guided Tampa Bay to a franchise record 46 wins and 106 points, and went on to capture the only Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history.  He was awarded the Jack Adams Award as the National Hockey League’s top coach following that season.

Never known to be a player's coach, Torts was criticized during the 2013 playoffs for his public scolding of players, his demanding style of coaching and his curt and profane press conferences.

Rumors have Jim Schoenfeld or Lindy Ruff as the frontrunners for the vacant position.

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