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Poll results: PHT readers think John Tortorella is the coach most likely to be fired

Sep 5, 2010, 9:15 PM EDT

A couple days ago, I reacted to a piece about NHL coaches who might be in danger of being fired. Often times in these situations, I like to take the temperature of PHT readers. So I asked the audience whose job they thought might be in the most trouble. Here are the results.

johntortscouldgetfired.JPG

(click to enlarge)

tortsismad.jpgJohn Tortorella earned the most votes even though he is only about to enter his second year as the Rangers’ boss. Many Rangers fans would probably agree that the club’s biggest issues are rooted in their sometimes-befuddled general manager Glen Sather (more on him a second), but Tortorella’s contentious style could wear thin in the Big Apple.

Another high-profile coach on the hot seat is Ron Wilson of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The last two seasons have been absolutely brutal for the former Capitals and Sharks coach, whose reputation used to be that he couldn’t get good teams over the hump. I’d say he has more pressure than Tortorella overall, but fans might be correct in saying that Torts’ job is in (slightly) greater danger.

Bruce Boudreau is the most successful coach on the hot seat, but it’s not outrageous to wonder if he might get canned after another playoff letdown. Marc Crawford, Cory Clouston, Brent Sutter and Todd Richards also received votes.

A lot of people decided to write-in with an “other” choice. Some were super-cute (“Ted Nugent”), one might have been a Mormon (“Joe Smith”?), a few need to learn how to spell Claude Julien and one must really, really want to fire New York Rangers GM Glen Sather. Here are the 18 write-in votes.

claudejulienhotseat.jpgWrite-in votes

Claude Julien: 7
Lindy Ruff: 4
Paul Maurice: 2
Joe Sacco: 1
Joel Quenneville: 1
Joe Smith?: 1
Ted Nugent (of course): 1
Glen Sather: 1

While Julien and Ruff didn’t receive more results than the lowest ranked listed coach (Ottawa’s Cory Clouston), it’s reasonable to say that they might have gotten more if they were on the actual list. I’m guessing Ruff was a choice for those who simply figure he’ll drop off due to the law of averages. Julien seems like he’s done pretty well with an often-challenging Bruins team, bringing them within one game of the Eastern Conference finals two years in a row, but management might want even more next season.

Now, keep in mind, it’s not exactly as if just one coach could get fired next season. In fact, if only one head rolled in 2010-11, that would break a longstanding pattern of head coach unrest in the league. Just remember that even if GMs and owners won’t necessarily forget the past, everyone is 0-0-0 going into a new season … and some coaches do their best work with their heads on the chopping block.

  1. NYRFTW - Sep 6, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    Torts is a really big disappointment here in NY. I wish we could turn back the clock and bring back Renney. Torts talks way to much junk and he can’t back it up. I am counting down the days. Hopefully we start off terrible, which we have a great chance of doing so he will be fired sometime in November. I don’t care who they replace with him as long as I don’t have to hear his big mouth anymore. He can go fight with reporters in some AHL town!

  2. Doug - Sep 6, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    I can’t see Wilson getting fired, win or lose. He’ll get a contract extension from Burke first.

  3. jay - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Ruff deserves to be on there. His teams have typically been under-achievers, he burns out goalies because if things are going well he won’t change the lineup, he stifles offensive creativity in some players and his team has so many games that they just don’t produce.

  4. Nyr77 - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    “NYRFTW ” YOUR SO FUKING DUMB. Tort is such good coach. Just because you jackass ranger fans are so Hypercritical . New york fans suck because its glen that is limting torts. Every coach sucks to you guys, thats why your getting new coach all the time.

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