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Tortorella out, King Henrik non-committal

John Tortorella has announced via Twitter that he has been ‘relieved’ of his ‘coaching duties’, and the New York Rangers management has confirmed the news. Tortorella had 1-year remaining on his current contract, and has been head coach for the past 5 years.

In 5 years as head coach of the Rangers, Tortorella compiled 171 regular season victories and 19 post-season wins. In his 5 years of service, the Rangers failed to make the playoffs only once. No doubt this season was disappointing after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last year only to lose to their rivals, the New Jersey Devils. You do have to wonder how much a shortened season factored into their play, after dropping from the 1st overall seed in the East last year to 6th overall this season.

Tortorella was the 34th coach of the New York Rangers, and the search for the 35th coach starts now. Despite reaching the playoffs in 4 out of 5 years, and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012, it seemed as if Tortorella’s in your face style lost its luster with the players in the locker room. Tortorella did have some questionable decision making, like sending promising Chris Kreider back and forth from the Rangers to their minor-league team, and sitting Brad Richards for the final 2 games of the post-season, but in the end he simply did not obtain the goal of lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup and having a parade through the Canyon of Heroes.

To make matters even worse, reigning Vezina Trophy (Best Goalie) award winner for 2012 and finalist this year, has been non-committal to the Rangers after his contract runs out next season. CBSsports quoted Lundqvist as saying, “I’m going to talk to my agent and we’ll see. I have had such a great time here in New York. From Day One they have treated me really well and given me an opportunity to play a lot of hockey. It’s been a lot of fun. … But we’ll see. I’ll talk to my agent and take it from there.” He also added, “I have one more year on the contract and right now I am just trying to get over this year.”

Justin Lerner: PureSportsNY

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