Rangers Fire Coach John Tortorella [POLL]
The New York Rangers have fired head coach John Tortorella just days after falling to the Boston Bruins in the NHL playoffs.
On a conference call about 2 hours after the release of the news via Twitter President & General Manager Glen Sather said he made the decision to let Tortorella go. "This is the decision that I made...I think I made the right decision," he said in quotes also released via Twitter.
"It wasn't one specific thing...it was more of a decision on how we get better and challenge for the Stanley Cup," said Sather, who is continuing on in his current role. “ After doing the analytical work … I came up with the decision that I really needed to do something to really improve our team moving forward."
He said the team wants to have a new coach in place by the NHL Draft on June 30. "We'll find the right guy (new coach)."
Sather called the benching of Brad Richards during the playoffs an "organizational decision." He hopes to sign Henrik Lunquist to a long term contract but would not comment about the state of negotiations.
Tortorella had one year left on his contract and has coached the team since 2008 when he replaced Tom Renney.
He was the team's 34th head coach in team history. The Rangers avoided a sweep in the playoffs but lost to the Bruins, 3 games -to-1.
Tortorella made curious comments on Monday when the Rangers packed up for the season, which could have led to his ouster.
In his final meeting with reporters, Tortorella said his club wasn't emotionally ready to take on Boston after getting past Washington with back-to-back shutout wins when it faced elimination. "One of the things, and it falls on my shoulders, is our team's mindset going into another round," Tortorella said. "I don't think our mindset was ready to play another series and to the level you need to be at. It didn't have a playoff atmosphere."That's what I struggle with right now. I didn't do a good enough job in correcting and getting their mindset back to not only play at the level of a Game 7 in the first round but get ready for round 2, which is always going to be tougher."
"Torts" coached 319 regular season games posting an all-time record of 171-118-1-29 and was the fourth winningest coach in team history.