New York Rangers Fire Head Coach John Tortorella
The New York Rangers have fired head coach John Tortorella.
The Rangers announced the dismissal of Tortorella, who had one year remaining on his contract, on Wednesday, just four days after being ousted from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The fiery 54-year-old Tortorella, known for his brash style both with players and the media, led the Rangers to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Bruins. The Rangers narrowly avoided being swept, but were eliminated in Game 5.
Tortorella’s firing comes on the heels of a disappointing season for the Rangers, who went to the Eastern Conference finals last season and entered the lockout-shortened 2013 season with lofty expectations.
Stating repeatedly that he did not want to divulge the specific reasons behind the decision to relieve head coach John Tortorella of his coaching duties, Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather did state on Wednesday that in the end, after input from his top lieutenants, the final decision was his, and his alone.
And over the course of a 20 minute conference call with reporters, Sather shot down one theory after another as to why Tortorella was no longer the team’s head coach—from the team’s play this season, to the players seemingly not being ready for the second round challenge against Boston, to a perceived slight from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, to Torts’ preferred style of play, to the fact that he would have been entering into the final year of his contract in 2013-14.
Sather, who was asked about his future and confirmed he would remain as the team’s General Manager this season, also stated that no decision had been made as of yet regarding the rest of the coaching staff—consisting of assistant coach Mike Sullivan, goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, and video coach Jerry Dineen. Jim Schoenfeld, the Rangers assistant general manager, also served as an assistant coach under Tortorella.
“If you’re not in the Stanley Cup and you’re not there winning it, your season is not a success,” added Sather. “Our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup here. So any time we don’t get there, I don’t think we achieved our goal.”
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