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On the future of Torts

May 23, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT

John Tortorella Getty Images

Brad Richards’ contract may not be the only casualty of a second-round exit by the New York Rangers. There’s also reason to wonder if John Tortorella is about to coach his last game for the team he’s led the past five postseasons.

Indeed, if the Rangers are swept by the Bruins tonight at Madison Square Garden, the calls for a new bench boss in the Big Apple will be loud.

Not by all, of course.

Tortorella is a polarizing figure. Some love his no-nonsense style and the way he handles players and reporters; some hate it and would vehemently disagree with the descriptor “no-nonsense.”

But that’s mostly just noise. Wins are what matter for head coaches in the NHL, and three playoff series victories in five postseasons isn’t good enough given the high expectations, not to mention payroll, in New York.

Many critics will point to Tortorella’s inability to coax offense out of a lineup that features no shortage of high-priced talent up front. New York is averaging just 2.1 goals per game in the 2013 playoffs. Last year, the Rangers scored three or fewer goals in all but one of their 20 postseason games.

To Tortorella’s credit, the Rangers almost always play hard, and they’ve shown they’re not afraid to sacrifice for the betterment of the team by blocking lots of shots. But is collapsing in the defensive zone a winning style? Isn’t it better to possess the puck; not be constantly diving in front of it?

Oh, and the entertainment value isn’t particularly high either, if that’s a concern for ownership, which is in the business of entertainment.

All that said, at least one reporter who’s covered the Rangers closely the past few seasons doesn’t believe Tortorella will be fired.

Writes Dave Lozo for

Tortorella has one more year left on his contract and will enter next season with a true contender. If the Rangers struggle in their first 20 games, maybe something happens. Who would the Rangers get to replace him now? Lindy Ruff? Alain Vigneault? Mark Messier? I’ve been wrong before, but there’s just no way Tortorella is going anywhere after this season unless a mutiny happens.

Related: ‘I hope to coach again,’ says Vigneault

  1. devilsarethebest - May 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Pretty sure getting swept in the playoffs after slightly edging the Capitals is a mutiny.

    • 950003cups - May 23, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      Hate to say it. But the Rangers would be well served to hire Paul Maurice. It’s a great match.

      Better than Torts, Renney and Trottier ( <—- always loved that one LOL)

  2. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Welcome back to TSN John, James, Darren and Bob have a seat waiting for ya.

  3. windmiller4 - May 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    I get the feeling Vignueault could be a good fit for NYR..

    • dirt2013 - May 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      The Rags are underachieving enough on their own and would not need to make that change.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Over Jim Nill’s dead body I’m thinknig

  4. biffnasty - May 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    would love to see Mess come in a coach

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      What coaching credentials does Mess have?

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Wayne Gretzky never had any coaching credentials and he … oh wait …

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        Was there ever a coach who came in the NHL with no coaching experience? Mario Tremblay in Montreal and he … oh wait… :-) He’ll be forever known as the coach who pushed Roy to the limit and gave 2 SCs to the Avs. LOL!

  5. President Charles Logan - May 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Lindy Ruff?

  6. jaredo10 - May 23, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Mess or Graves. Maybe even both.. I would love it

    • President Charles Logan - May 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      they have zero % coaching experience .. why bring them in?? cause of their names?

      • tuberippin - May 23, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        All that coaching experience worked out great for Torts. Even brought in a guy who he won the Stanley Cup with. Still nothing.

  7. jpelle82 - May 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    i almost think torterella wants to get fired. he seems so angry all the time, he seems miserable. isnt he from boston anyway? he probably hates new york

  8. shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Only way he gets retained is if the GM is a hoarder. No one else would keep garbage like that.

    He can’t run a team. He’s a headcase who overworks his players and doesn’t know how to get the most out of a team. He’s the prototypical example of

    You have your Scotty Bowmans, Mike Babcocks and Laviolettes. The hard asses who know what to say, when to say it and when to tow the line. And no one ignores then, and when the team wins, they love the guy. Then you have idiots like Tortorella, who do NOT know that balance and get tuned out (even after victory). He got tuned out in TB, he’s been tuned out pretty obviously in NY, and he will be tuned out wherever he goes should he not decide to fix his stank ass attitude.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 23, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Garbage! Really! Guess you don’t care for the man too much. Frankly, I agree that he seems to push the boys a little too much especially over the course of an 82 game schedule. And! Yes! I agree that players usually tune out a coach who’s constantly chewing them out. I wouldn’t call him garbage for the simple fact that he has won a SC. The ultimate team prize in hockey.

      “Fire this CLOWN. His players hate him and wont play for his BS…. @imseanavery is #winning.”

    • President Charles Logan - May 23, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      Laviolette has had 2 good runs in the playoffs in his career, but it always seems shortly follwing that his players tune him out …. I’m surprised he’s back in Philly for next year but then again he doesnt have a whole lot to work with these days .

    • gaborik104life - May 23, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      “doesn’t know how to get the most out of a team.”

      Funny I thought bringing a team to game to within a pair of wins of the finals meant something but apparently not.

      How many coaches have kept their jobs without having major success. See Sj, Van, etc.. They were given more chances. Not giving him the beginning of the next season would be a travesty.

      • shoobiedoobin - May 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        Attitudes like this and team response is exactly why you pay no attention to past accomplishments. They have no bearing on the present.

  9. rahavort - May 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    He’ll do the same thing he always does when things don’t go his way; pout, whine, cry and throw little pissy fits

  10. bronxsanman - May 23, 2013 at 4:27 PM


  11. gizzmonic - May 23, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    he will be coaching the Sedin sisters next year

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