John Tortorella is a former New York Rangers assistant coach (interim head coach for 4 games), a former Tampa Bay Lightning head coach and now a former TSN analyst, as he was announced this evening as the replacement for Tom Renney (announced by Glen Sather via a conference call), who was fired by the Rangers this morning. It appears based on player comments this afternoon that Renney will be taking on another role within the organization.
According to the NY Post, Tortorella was signed to a multi-year contract and Jim Schoenfeld will join Tortorella's staff as an assistant coach.
John Tortorella is the complete opposite of Tom Renney, who was a very patient and laid back coach while behind the bench for the Rangers. All post game remarks were calculated and he never called out his players in the media, even during the current losing streak. Tortorella on the other hand is known for his violent temper (has benn ejected from a game three times as an NHL head coach), scantalizing remarks of key players after losses (i.e. Vinny Lecavalier) and his interesting confrontation (to say the least) w/ the NY Post's Larry Brooks (video below):
According to NHL Live today on XM Home Ice Glen Sather actually asked the Tampa Bay Lightning for permission last week to speak with John Tortorella, who was still under contract with the Lightning and currently an analyst for TSN. Interestingly, Sean Avery may be one of the first topics of conversation that Sather and Tortorella had when discussing Rangers coaching position. Why? Because in the past few months, John Tortorella has on at least two occasions voiced his dislike for Sean Avery in the media. After Avery's comments two months ago while working for TSN Tortorella was asked if the Rangers should bring Avery back and he responded "No, and I don't even want to talk about Avery."In another interview around the same time he also said that Avery's “a selfish ass.” What do you think are Avery's chances of being claimed off of re-entry waivers with Tortorella as head coach?
However, Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants reports that Sather was questioned about Avery during the conference call to announce that Tortorella was the new head coach:
Sather is aware that Tortorella has expressed some negative feelings toward Avery but it didn't sound like that would stop Sather from bringing Avery to the Rangers if the Stars place Avery on re-entry waivers.
"He doesn't have the history with Sean that we do. Over time, you learn to love him like I do."