John Tortorella is a demanding head coach who oversees a relentless, blue-collar style of hockey that, quite frankly, isn’t for everyone. He’s also unafraid to publicly blast his players, the media or anyone else in between with news conferences that may provide entertainment but bruise egos all the same.
So it might come as no surprise that Tortorella’s antics had worn thin on the Rangers. Because of that, Tortorella was fired Wednesday by the club, ending four-plus seasons behind the New York bench.
“Every coach has a shelf life,” general manager Glen Sather told reporters in a conference call Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve told every guy that I’ve hired that at some point in time this is going to change. Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup, and we didn’t achieve that goal this year. I had to make a decision, so I did.”
As one might expect, it doesn’t appear this decision was based solely on on-ice results or lack thereof. The New York Post reports that Tortorella’s job may have been safe, but overwhelming displeasure from the players after the season in regards to Tortorella left Sather with no choice.
“Sources have confirmed,” wrote New York Post columnist and noted Tortorella rival Larry Brooks, “Sather had no intention of dismissing Tortorella in the wake of the team’s second-round elimination by the Bruins until a critical mass of players informed the GM that the coach’s overbearing personality had become a roadblock to success.”
The Rangers reached the Eastern Conference finals last season before bowing out in the second round against the Bruins this year.