Official announcement of Tortorella firing


With full Glen Sather conference call audio to follow.

From the NYR:


New York, May 29, 2013 New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that head coach John Tortorella has been relieved of his coaching duties.

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.

Tortorella joined Tampa Bay following a one-year stint with the Rangers in 1999-2000 where he was an Assistant Coach and served as Head Coach for the final four games of the season.  Prior to joining the Rangers, he spent two seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Phoenix Coyotes.  He joined Phoenix during the 1997-98 season, after spending the previous eight seasons with the Buffalo Sabres organization. Tortorella served as an Assistant Coach with the Sabres from 1989-90 to 1994-95 and as Head Coach with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Rochester Americans, during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 campaigns.  He guided the club to the Calder Cup championship in 1995-96, and followed that up by posting the AHL Northern Conference’s best record during the 1996-97 regular season.

Tortorella began his tenure behind the bench with the Virginia Lancers of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League (ACHL), where he spent two seasons as General Manager and Head Coach from 1986-87 to 1987-88 and immediately established himself as one of the league’s best.  In two seasons with the Lancers, Tortorella compiled a 73-24-1-0 record to earn Coach of the Year honors both seasons, along with the league championship during the 1986-87 campaign.  Following the 1987-88 season, Tortorella joined the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League (IHL) during their 1988 playoff run before serving as an Assistant Coach with the New Haven Nighthawks (AHL) in 1988-89.

Tortorella also served as an assistant coach for the silver medal-winning Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. He also served as head coach for Team USA at the 2008 World Championship, and was an assistant coach at the 2005 World Championship.


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  1. ABIndy – The pronunciation of resign doesn’t even make sense. Nor the definition considering what sign means. But to sign again is spelled re-sign with a hyphen (probably only because of resign). Just misused by a lot of people.

    Will miss Torts, unless Ruff is hired.

  2. carped: They need to find somebody that can utilize a more efficient defensive system and stresses scoring. The one thing I have never seen with Torts is the fulfillment of the, “safe is death” comment when he was first hired.

  3. Doodie Machetto on

    Rob, interesting thought. It could cost McDonagh and Callahan spots on the team.

  4. HA HA!!! I posted the other day I was told by a friend that channel 12 news who is owned by Dolan, reported that after season was over that tortorella was getting fired, well, they were right carp.

  5. Rob in Beantown, I think getting fired might make him more likely to end up on the staff of the U.S. Team given that he could devote significant time to the effort of the US Team if he isn’t coaching an NHL team next season.

  6. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    To follow up with some of you from what seems like 25 threads ago, this team IS better than last seasons. The playoff performance not withstanding. A healthy clowe and Staal make a huge difference IMHO.

    I understand the game is not played on paper, but player for player, it is better than last seasons.

    Brich, OPG, and the mad bomber were clearly worse and I’m not arguing that, but player versus player this team is deeper and more talented.

    The best part of this is some of you disagreeing with me are the ones who hated the “depth players” of last season

  7. now the question of the day is, Who is going to be the next coach and coaches? I truly hope it isn’t Lindsay Ruff, oh god help us.

  8. No matter the coach, Callahan is not losing his spot on the Olympic team. There are more candidates for less openings on defense, however.

  9. bull dog line on

    it would be silly if McD, and Cally were not on olympic. I think Stepan has a shot as well.

  10. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    Aside from the obvious ,I think of the main factors for the firing :

    Torts was entering his final year of his contract, my bet is they the rangers din’t want a lame duck coach, if he lost the players this coming season ,
    ( if he didn’t lose them already this past season ) the year would have a total disaster.
    And they weren’t about to extend his contract then dump him owing him millions

    The day he tossed the water bottle into the stands I thought torts was an Ass.

    He should have taken some lessons from Tom Coughlin on how win games and influence people. SEE YA.

  11. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    Spiderpig : No one corrected him , simply amazing.. that they get paid

  12. This was a dumb move, but I’m happy in a way. We’ll have another coach and still get the same results and people will hopefully see that it’s the personnel. As for rumored hires?

    Lindy Ruff – if we want offense, not exactly the guy to go to for it, but he’s an established coach.

    Alain Veignault – yet again, if we want offense, not the way to go but he’s had success with the super talented Canucks

    Guy Boucher – his offense first system didn’t work until he implemented the 1-4. Even then, we don’t have anyone on the roster with the offensive skill set of St. Louis or Stamkos and possibly even Lecavalier (although him and Nash are comparable in that they are overpaid for what they produce). Not sure how he’d do without a 60 goal scorer and a 90+ point forward to complement him.

    Either way, when this team barely makes it into the playoffs next year, assuming they actually make it, everyone will be saying that getting rid of Torts was a terrible decision.

    It’s not the coach that ruins this organization, it’s not even necessarily the GM. But when two huge market franchises have been a laughing stock of their league for almost 15 years, you have to look at the one consistent…James Dolan.

    This is just another example of him being mad his new shiny toy didn’t work out the way he expected and decided to put all the blame on someone else because he can’t be held accountable.

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    On the Olympics squad, Callahan is just a depth forward. The coach might choose to go in a different direction.

    And as far as on defense, we all read Kevin Allen’s incorrect article on the US team, and its (incorrect) discussion of the defensemen. The coach might see it the same (incorrect) way.

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    sounds like he wants to take the pens all the way. Deep. I think he left out the “i” from “Pens” though.

  15. Doodie Machetto on

    Hey, not every team can have the fortune of drafting Malkin and Crosby in consecutive drafts, but the ones that do can certainly blow it the next year by drafting Jordan Staal over Jonathan Toews.

  16. Brad Richards, on his way out the door, says he can bounce back, as soon as they “FIRE THIS CLOWNN! HIS PLAYERS WONT PLAY FOR HIM AND HIS BS!!”

  17. Admiral Akbar on






  18. I think there are a lot of D candidates for the U.S team, agree it will depend on GM and Coach but I don’t think Torts’ being fired makes it any less or more likely for him to end up on the staff or to have Cally/Step/McD on the team.

  19. Admiral Akbar on

    Richards is finished and will be bought out, no matter who the coach is.

    Richards would be a nice signing for the NY Islanders or Leaves.

  20. I don’t see what this has to do with the US team. Do you really think Torts is going to use this and hold a grudge against the Rangers and not pick their players for the US team? Despite most thoughts, I think he’s much more professional than that.

  21. Johhny D, agree, nothing will change because the problem is ownership as always, if it wasn’t for Dolan’s father, Dolan would still be on drugs, playing in his band, living in a small apartment.

  22. Admiral Akbar on

    I’m sick with this news.

    No stability in this organization.

    I wonder if Mr. Brian Leetch is a candidate?

  23. Carp also picked the Mets to go all the way this year, Tebow would lead the Jets to the Super Bowl and Gigli as Best Picture a few years back.

  24. No one is saying torts would hold that grudge, theyre saying if he DOESN’T get the job, those players might not get picked by the other US coach.

    Torts would still pick them though, but Cally will be on that team no matter what, probably with a letter on his shoulder.

    Can’t believe Torts got fired, what a terrible move.

  25. My,my, my – What a shame don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Torts. Goes to show you that bullying doesn’t work in today’s world and has very little shelf life. Apparently, not as many players like playing for him as much as his supporters thought. His personality and coaching philosophy just doesn’t work in modern day hockey. I guess Carp’s source at the Garden was not that reliable. Torts did more to impair the development of many players and hurt this team in the long run. I think, Messier, Lundqvist, possibly and Richards indirectly had a lot to do with his firing. In the final analysis his methods were worn thin and nobody heard his voice.

  26. What’s next? Ricahrds is replacing Cally as a captain for the next season?

    Carp did get carried away with his overconfident predictions re: Rangers’ personnel this Spring. Confidence of some of them did not make any sense unless they were coming from Slats himself. Obviously, they were not.

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