The Rangers have fired coach Tom Renney and assistant Perry Pearn. Heading to interview players now. More later.
It’s true. Renney is out, along with Pearn. Jane is at the rink. She and I will both have more shortly.
Jane here again. The new coach will almost 100 percent certainly be John Tortorella, but here’s how the morning unfolded. The Rangers scheduled a 10:30 workout this morning, but didn’t let reporters in until 11:30—late enough to have a lot of us thinking something was up. One of the media relations people came in and told us Renney and Pearn had been let go, the other assistants will stay, and then let us talk to the players.
The locker room was pretty subdued by the time we got in there. Chris Drury said Renney was fired at the end of the workout and addressed the players.
“I just think everyone right now feels for Tom and Perry and all the effort they put in to win here,” Drury said.
Several players said they felt responsible in part for the firing. Defenseman Paul Mara said that the possibility had been in the back of his mind, and that pro teams make changes when teams aren’t winning. The Rangers have lost (or not won) 10 of the last 12 games.
“We’ve still got a lot of games left. We’ve still got a chance to get into the playoffs,” Scott Gomez said. ”…It’s a business. You hate to see a guy get fired, but you’ve got to keep going. You’ve got to find a way.”
At least one player alluded that this was the right change to make.
“You have to accept that you need a change,” Henrik Lundqvist said, “and this is the way we have to do it.”
No official confirmation on Tortorella, although Lundqvist said he expected to meet the new coach tomorrow, indicating that the front office has their man. The next game is in Toronto on Wednesday, so this is upheaval that the players will have to work through if the season is to get back on track.
There will be more answers on the coaching situation this afternoon with president Glen Sather scheduled for a conference call.