John Tortorella was canned by the New York Rangers today. Torts led the team to three straight playoff appearances—reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012—but they were bounced with ease by the Bruins in five games in the Conference Semis.
Arguably the league’s most animated coach, Tortorella posted a .543 win percentage over the four-plus seasons that he was with the club, but failed to get his teams’ regular-season success to carry over in the playoffs—his Rangers teams were just 19-25 in the NHL’s second season.
Blueshirts United had the following to say on its website:
The Rangers announced on Wednesday afternoon that John Tortorella has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach, four days after the Blueshirts were eliminated in five games by the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Named the 34th head coach in franchise history on February 23, 2009 when he replaced Tom Renney, Tortorella coached 319 regular season games with the Blueshirts, posting an all-time record of 171-118-1-29. That mark also included an 0-3-1 stint as Rangers head coach when he closed out the 1999-2000 season behind the bench following the dismissal of John Muckler.
Tortorella, the fourth winningest coach in franchise history, was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award after leading the Rangers to a 51 win, 109-point regular season in 2011-12.
This past season the Rangers were 26-18-4 in the lockout-abbreviated year, finishing in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. It was the fourth time in five years under Tortorella that the Rangers earned a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Tortorella, who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup, coached 44 playoff games with the Rangers, with his team posting a 19-25 record in the post-season. Last season the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997.
Including his tenure in Tampa Bay, Tortorella has earned 410 victories as a head coach in the National Hockey League, more than any other U.S. born head coach in league history. He currently stands at 410-340-37-67 in 854 career games.
I’m sure he’ll find himself behind a bench somewhere next season, because how could we possibly go an entire year without a post-game interview like this?