In a move that may have evoked cheers from the New York media, John Tortorella has been fired as coach of the New York Rangers.
The crass 54-year-old Boston native led the Rangers to a seven-game victory over the Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, then poked fun at them for whining about the officials before falling to the Bruins in five games.
It was during that series loss to Boston that Tortorella benched center Brad Richards, the Rangers’ third-highest paid player, for the final two games of the series.
Tortorella took on some of the blame for the series loss, saying he didn’t put his star players in the best position to perform. Rick Nash and Richards each managed just one goal in the post-season.
While there were players who enjoyed playing for Tortorella, one Rangers player told me during the first round of the playoffs that practices were run “like a boot camp” and that players were afraid to crack a smile during team meetings.
Despite his reputation as being harsh to his players and the media, Tortorella is a three-time finalist for the Jack Adams Award and has more NHL wins than any other American-born coach with a 410-330-37-67 record