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The firing of Tortorella leaves this organization with more questions than answers

May 30, 2013, by

I received word yesterday when I was in a meeting and Mrs. Suit texted me asking if the story of Tortorella’s firing was true. Seconds later my phone buzzed again and it was Dave with the same news. Within minutes my phone would blow up and it wouldn’t stop all afternoon. Whatever else happened in that meeting I was in I couldn’t tell you. Needless to say, I was stunned and I wasn’t in a setting where I could get answers.

Torts was my guy and I thought he deserved another year. It’s no secret I have been a staunch supporter of his over the past 4+ seasons, probably more so than anyone else who covers this team. I’ve never admitted it on this blog, but I have met Torts away from the pressures of the season on several occasions. Every time I came away with the same impression. That’s a guy I’d go to hell and back with. He takes over a room like few others I have encountered in this business.

And these experiences played a part in why I even contribute to this site. A few years ago I was reading a lot of irrational, knee jerk reaction type stuff about Torts and the coaching discipline in general. That inspired me to dig in on the inner workings of the game and seek out experienced hockey people who would help me shed light on the x’s and o’s.

With that said, my allegiance will always be with the Rangers. Not Tortorella, not Glen Sather, not even Henrik Lundqvist. They are all just disposable heroes in the end. My one true allegiance is to the crest, the blue, red and white. I hope all of you, even those of you who frequently disagree with me remember that.

And that’s what has me concerned about his firing. It’s really not about my personal interactions with the man, or even all of the hours I spent analyzing his every move. It’s about the direction of this team. Right now, I can’t say with any certainty that I truly understand what direction this ship is headed in. If Torts was fired because he refused to hire a power play coach or get behind a Brad Richards buyout, I can live with that. I’d even admire it, even though I disagree with both points.

There are rumors flyings around though about a small group of players turning on Tortorella and going to Sather asking for his dismissal. We’ll never know if that’s true, but if it is, that shouldn’t make anyone sleep easy. The minute you make a player bigger than the coach or the team is the minute your team unity dies. That kind of culture never breeds championships. It’s how organizations become dysfunctional, and it leaves me with more questions than answers.

Was Cally one of those players, or did others go over the Captains head? Was it Richie because he got benched? That would be a joke. Was it Boyle? Because that man should call Torts and thank him for giving him a career. Even Hank shouldn’t have that kind of power. He’s a goalie. He should be worried about stopping the puck, nothing else. I love Hank, but Torts left him alone after bad playoff performances. You think Vigneault or Bylsma would do the same? Careful what you wish for boys.

What worries me even more are the potential replacements. The candidates that have been mentioned so far would all be lateral moves IMO. Ruff and Ron Wilson are even tougher versions of Torts, minus the hardware. Guy Boucher and Tippett have implemented passive 1-2-2 or 1-3-1 neutral zone forechecks everywhere they’ve been. Hags and Kreider being forced to stand around in the neutral zone sure doesn’t sound like an exciting brand of hockey to me. Vigneault probably had one of the best teams on paper the last several years, but he couldn’t get it done either.

Personally, I’d rather see Glen hire an NHL assistant or maybe even an AHL coach. Maybe Gernander deserves a shot, or someone young who can work with our youth. Of course, I don’t know how hiring a coach who is more patient with rookie defensive mistakes translates to a Cup next year. Seems counter to what Hank apparently wants.

Look, I don’t know what the hell Sather is looking for from his 6th coach. Nor did I expect him to come out and tell us what happened behind the scenes. However, I would have appreciated an explanation of what he’s looking for moving forward. At least that is what he did with Renney. Instead, Sather is hitting the reset button — again.

You may not have liked what Torts had to say, but at least he was honest. Now it’s back to Sather treating the fans like mushrooms. Feeding us crap and keeping us in the dark. Whoever he hires, I promise to break down his every move just like I did with Torts.

Categories : Coaching Moves


  1. agentsmith says:

    when its one or two players – yes u can easily ship them out. but when its MANY as brooks indicates this morning, theres a bigger problem and change is needed.

    so we can debate wether x and o wise its good or bad.

    but when he has lost enough of the room thats irrelevant. Your fired.

    • RangerMom says:

      Take Larry Brooks with a HUGE grain of salt. Of course, what he wrote has a basis in truth, but I’ll bet you any amount of money that Brooks is being fed that “players revolted” theme from Ranger management (looking at you, Glen) to deflect blame. And, hey, it’s working. For now.

  2. Walt says:


    You are a loyal man, and for that I respect you. I called for Tort’s head, and I get no satisfaction knowing that he was fired, but it was time. I didn’t like the way he treated people, threw players under the bus, and was a horses butt.

    As a person John may be a great guy, I don’t know the man, so I take your word. Last night on TSN, Darren Dregger stated that a member of the Ranger organization told him in no uncertain terms that Torts lost the locker room, and it showed. I, and a number of others saw how the team was going through the motions, with no heart, and or emotions. We will turn the page, support the new coach, the team, and the city that we all love.

    To John Tortarella, I wish you the best of luck, health, and future.

  3. Walt says:

    The loss of the locker room was way back in Feb as stated by Dregger!

  4. PAL says:

    Suit, a very thoughtful and honest post, and I appreciate it. I really really wanted Torts to succeed, but I feel like he shot himself in the foot: the powerplay that never went anywhere, the overplaying of Brad Richards, the questionable handling of some of the rookies, an offense that never seemed to get going – all of these are ultimately his responsibility.

    I felt deep in my gut that this was a coach who genuinely could bring a Cup to the Rangers. I have not felt that way about a lot of our coaches over the years. I feel sad this morning.

  5. Steffen says:

    Thanks for the article, I think you make a couple of good point. Especially the one where you question the direction of the club. I doubt the have one, besides winning the cup. I don’t understand the moment or motives for the firing. Especially because half the team changed in a weird, weird, season.

    I believe that the only teams performing this year are the teams that have their core intact for a little while now. And the Rangers changed immense due to Nash and again with the shipping of Gaborik and are supposed to win?!? It’s hard to win without consistency.

    But if Torts lost the room, there might not be any other option. The question is how do we know that. The team won’t admit it I guess. If several of them feel like he coaches like a clown, perhaps by using inconsistent tactics or something like that. It’s hard to perform when not everybody is on the same page.

    So I’m kinda curious what the Rangers are going to do…

  6. SalMerc says:

    Any coaching change leaves a void, but some voids are necessary. While Suit/Dave bleed Ranger mgmt. blue, I, a fan for 40 years, bleed loyal fan blue. Something as different as going to a game and sitting in the $450 seats with suits or up in the (old) blue seats with die hards. It was time as Torts lost the ability to motivate his team. I liken it to Norm Turner in football. Year after year he had great players but did nothing as his style did not make the team stronger than the sum of the parts. Torts played favorites and shunned criticism, but also did not get more than 4 or 5 players to play “over their head”. This is coaching style and it no longer was working. A change is necessary (at the top and on lines 3 and 4). This is Slats swan song year so maybe he will go out with a bang.

    • The Suit says:

      Not sure what you mean by I bleed management blue…

      • SalMerc says:

        Pro management stance over the player/fan perspective

        • The Suit says:

          I still have no idea what you are getting at Sal. I am not pro managment. I am not pro player. My opinions are based on years following the game, playing the game and working in it. Where I sit has nothing to do with anything.

      • Evan M says:

        I think everyone wants what is best for the team. Just because one individual thinks a coach staying would be better than leaving, does not make that person a “management” fan.

        Pro athletes are treated as Gods (until they stop performing well), so having a coach who can deflect the constant praise and hold these players accountable is a good thing. Torts didn’t seem to play favorites, he seemed to play whoever earned it at that time. Consequently, rookies have a harder time earning their ice time, so there’s the handling on Krieder. Meanwhile, when Miller was playing his heart out, he got his ice time.

        Supporting a hard nose coach is not pro-management (especially after criticizing the GM). In the end, we all root for laundry

    • becky says:

      You know the suites aren’t so bad, treating yo self doesn’t mean you lose any validity as a fan 😉

    • VinceR says:

      Nice dividing line Sal…guess you are a better fan than the Suit which is why you put effort into analysis/blog posts/hours of work because you are so passionate. Guess Suit only roots for the management, even though he specifically stated his loyalties in that article he devoted a chunk of time to.

      Also, I guess because I didn’t get on a waiting list until 2008, I’m less of a fan for paying for season tickets in the $100 range and going to 41 regular season home games (sometimes slightly less if I get sent out of town) plus playoff games because I can’t get the cheaper seats (not high enough yet on the totem) so I pay more to see my team. (yeah I used to buy single tix for the blue seats but I wanted to see a lot more games and feel like I’m a part of a small piece of the organization).

      Guess that’s what they call a pot shot from the cheap seats, usually that is more of a figurative phrase.

    • Dave says:

      Wow. Way to divide the lines there. But because I sometimes have to wear a suit to a game (because I couldn’t change after work), I’m less of a fan?

      Consider who you’re talking to, someone who created a blog from nothing into the best Ranger blog on the internet. And Suit, someone who had his own blog before coming on board here.

      But no, we aren’t real fans because we wear suits to games? Because we agree with management, that the team comes before any GM, coach, or player?

      Right. That makes sense.

  7. Jason Deiso says:

    I’m sure you may have read the above, but if not, it’s worth it.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t read Rodent that much, but that’s a good post. Thanks for bringing it up here.

      • wwpd says:

        well he hasn’t posted anything since september so, not much to read.

        good read though, possibly the only blog that spends as much time breaking down the mechanics of individual plays and tactics as you guys do.

  8. Bloomer says:

    In my mind Torts is all about the things I believe in, work ethic, accountability and teamwork. And when he speaks, he is to the point, seems many in the media aren’t used to that. I been a Ranger fan for many years, this move is right up there with trading Middleton for Goldsworthy and letting Zubov get away.
    So what now? Some pansy coach who’s going to suck up to all the big name players and hope they are in the mood for winning a game. Firing Torts blows, it a stupid move by a stupid G.M.

  9. prole30 says:

    Despite all the high expectations Tortorella got dealt a bad hand this year. Without Prust to stir the soup the team lost its tough edge. Richards aged 10 years during the off-season. This had a knock-on effect on Gaborik. Nash is a technician not a leader. He lost Staal and there was no defensive depth. We ended up with Hamrlik compared to the Bruins’ Krug. I don’t think there was a player revolt although the remarks on Hagelin were ill considered to inspire the troops. This is Sather trying to shake up things.

    There is no formula for a cup-winning coach since the days of Bowman and Arbour. Three of the four now in the finals were losers before they won and the fourth was untried. If you ask me, I’d go for creative and hungry. That’s Ted Nolan and Guy Boucher, who had no goaltender in Tampa. There is Dave Tippett, if they could get him. Otherwise it’s going to be a crapshoot.

  10. Erixon20 says:

    He lost the room + a step backwards = you’re fired. But it is a good point not to fire someone unless you can do better, and I think they can. A fresh voice is needed. Someone hopefully with an attacking style and a guy not afraid to roll 4 lines. Look at last night’s CHI-DET boxscore: I don’t see anyone on either team playing 6 minutes or anyone playing 30 which would never happen with Torts no matter the roster. Torts did not adapt. He did a good job getting us to another level, but it’s time to move to the next.

  11. joe719 says:

    3 Things to take from this whole thing:

    1. Never throw your players under the bus in the media.

    2. Hank runs this team(If we didn’t already know that!)

    3. Never dis Sam Rosen in a post-game interview!!! (:

  12. Justin says:

    Fantastic post Suit. I think it was a totality of the circumstances thing, guys feeling slighted and Hank being frustrated. I would be inclined to believe a story that Tort’s opposition to a Richie buy-out could have been that proverbial “straw” in this instance.

    What I don’t get is the vitriol towards AV. The guy got within 1 game of the Stanley Cup. How is it his fault that Roberto Luongo imploded 3 times in Boston? I think the generic “he failed to live up to expectations” narrative is unfair. While I agree he’s not a clear upgrade to Torts, I think he makes the most sense as a replacement.

    • Erixon20 says:

      I would agree with selecting AV from the pool of experienced coaches. Ruff is too similiar to Torts, and Boucher traps too much (although I like his energy, and he handled his star players pretty well). Sully is gone next I bet. Do they want to go with unexperienced legend Messier? Not my first choice, but if selected I would totally get behind it. He would need a veteren coach on the bench to help of course.

      • Spozo says:

        I don’t want messier. Listen, I love the guy but this team was assembled to go for the cup now and I don’t think you throw in a guy that has never coached a professional hockey game. It would be a storybook ending if he won the cup but let’s be honest and say that just likely wouldn’t happen. Just look at Gretzky. I would hate to taint Messiers image in ny by failing as the head coach.

        I would be fine with Mess assisting but as of right now it doesn’t look like sully is going anywhere.

        • Mike W says:

          Yeah storybook endings are sweet and all, but I’d take a broomstick with a hat on it as a coach if it wins us a cup. Going to miss Torts. I don’t want to say the Rangers are a soft team, but this wouldn’t have happened with last year’s team. I don’t think there was a single person that, at this point last year, thought Torts would be fired if Gabby got hurt again, Richards ate fat richard all year, Staal got hurt, and we still made it to the 2nd round. I don’t like it.

        • wwpd says:

          yeah love him but honestly, i can’t imagine him behind the bench of an nhl team. no way.

    • The Suit says:

      No vitriol here. Just don’t view him as an upgrade.

    • Ray says:

      I’m more concerned that he has only won one playoff game since.

  13. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Thanks for the post, Suit. I very much agree with all sentiments. The motive for Tort’s release, to me, either justifies his firing or undermines it.

    If, like you said, the players became more powerful than the coach, it doesn’t bode well for the organization. His replacement is essentially neutered before even being named.

    • Spozo says:

      If you read Brook’s article he said no ultimatums were issued by players just the notion that many were fed up with his brash and brutal personality. To me that sounds like Sather was being proactive and wanted to get the guy out before the locker room pulled a complete mutiny.

      But hey that’s my opinion and I wasn’t in the in the locker as often as I wanted to be this year so we can speculate all we want.

      One thing to point out is brooks said the players had no problem with his hockey systems, shot blocking and all. Just his brutal take no bs way of handling personnel. This is a stance BSB has maintained the throughout with their fancy diagrams and statistics. Well done guys.

      • The Suit says:

        Thanks Spozo. Always appreciate what you bring down here.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Couple things…

        1) I don’t put much stock into what Brooks writes overall. His motivation is more to stir the pot, push controversy and get reads than it is to provide honest insight for the hockey reader/Rangers fan. While I don’t doubt that some/many players were fed up with Torts way of doing things, I also don’t care. They’re all adults, athletes and seasoned professionals and I expect them to live with it and work through it.

        2) The way for Sather to get the locker room in check is to remind all of them that they don’t run things. Next year, when adversity strikes, lets see if the locker room remains in check and on the same page, or if the rifts reveal themselves. I have no doubt that Torts was a guy who could ensure the group stay tight when adversity struck. For Sather’s (and our) sake, whoever he hires as a replacement better be headstrong enough to keep the room on the up and up, ESPECIALLY, now that the players know how powerful they can be and what kind of change they’re capable of effecting.

        • Spozo says:

          I agree.

          I don’t put a whole lot of stock in what Brooks says about Tortorella. I do however think he wrote a very objective article while he could have just completely ripped Torts a new one. He pointed out that while Kreider didn’t pan out this year as expected, Mcdonagh developed beautifully. He also wrote that while Gaborik was ultimately used as a scapegoat he did have his two best seasons under Tortorella.

          I guess the underlying message here is that we truly don’t know exactly everything that happened. Sather felt there needed to be a change and he did it. We have to deal with it and hope that he made the right decision.

    • The Suit says:

      Hatrick my good man. What do you think of Jeff Beukeboom? I’d buy in.

      • Walt says:


        He has been an assistant, and he played for Slats, so they know each other, and would get management support. Also something to think about, he has a good rep for teaching the d-men how to play the position. Given the fact that we are still young on D, he would be a great choice!!

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Well, knowing nothing about him from a systems standpoint, I do like his post-NHL career moves (as taken from wikipedia):

        2003- Asst coach- Toronto Roadrunners (AHL)
        2005- Pres/ part-owner- Lindsay Muskies- Ontario Provincial Junior “A” Hockey League
        2008- Asst coach- Barrie Colts- OHL
        2009- Asst coach- Sudbury Wolves- OHL
        2012- Asst coach- Connecticut Whale- AHL

        So he’s put his time in the Junior/Farm levels which has to help him (reminds me of Dale Hunter in that regard). He has always had the Asst tag though, and has never been THE guy steering the ship. Would he be able to pull the right strings in tough spots when he’s calling the shots?

        Melrose had some solid insight yesterday on Michael Kay/Don La Greca where he said something like they best former players to become coaches were the “meat n potatoes guys”. Bukes definately fits that.

        Could you provide any insight on his coaching style?

  14. Ramjam900 says:

    I still don’t buy it that he lost the room. I think players were tired. Torts had no training camp to see who would be able to physically last. Plus the new Columbus guys who never played in the playoffs (although they played well) probably is why they looked slow. The rangers should have let him finish out his contract.

  15. Reilly says:

    From the coaching list, I don’t think Ruff or Wilson will be much of an upgrade. Like you said, they are defensive minded coaches who wouldn’t bring much of a change to the system.

    However, Vigneault and Boucher would let the players play without the fear of being benched like they did with Torts. Krieder won’t go into a game fearful of one simple mistake could cost him the rest of the game and future games. Yea, Boucher has a boring defensive system, yet his Tampa teams were still near the top of the league in scoring.

    The Rangers don’t need a crazy defensive minded coach. When you have a goalie like Hank back there, as long as you are keeping players from standing in front of him, he can take care of most shots. The problem was the Rangers would bunch in the middle in hopes of blocking a shot while the opposing team would circle around the zone before firing away shots Hank wouldn’t see due to the lack of aggressiveness in front of his net and his own players getting in the way or tipping it by him.

    The Rangers last year were a perfect team for Torts. Players ready to lay out at any moment. But the team lacked offense and Sather went out and got some. It changed the way the team was. This is now a more offensive minded team and Torts wasn’t going to change his style and this would never work.

    It’s funny you say you are worried about the direction of the team now that Torts is gone, but in reality you should feel much better. Sather is putting together a more offensive minded team while Torts wanted a defensive minded team. You can’t have a GM build a team the coach doesn’t want and since Sather is never leaving, Torts had to go.

    Plus you add in the fact that Torts never seemed to care about his players when speaking with the media. Why would he say he isn’t going to talk about his players, but on bad nights or during conferences say some of his players stink, or how he is disgusted by his star players?

    Hank was also getting frustrated. Why would he enjoy having the pressure of every game lay on him? He was expected to let in no more than 1 goal a game under Torts. And look at what was written after the first couple games against Boston… It was how if Lundqvist fails, the Rangers fail and Hank was playing poorly. The team can’t score and because they give up more goals than usual, it was suddenly Hank’s fault. He needs a team that can score and that was never going to happen under Torts. He could have coached the Oilers in the 80’s and Gretzky would have been lucky to hit 120 points in any season.

    This was a needed change. The Rangers need scoring, they need a power play, they need a coach who instead of calling out his players in public, makes them better. They need someone who instead of changing lines game by game and sitting players for little mistakes, they need someone who can let players gel and because they didn’t score in a game, doesn’t mean they need to change the lineup or have someone play 3 minutes in a 120 minute hockey game because of a small mistake in the first period (Bickell). They also now need a coach the players can trust in. Last year, they did and it got them far. This year, it all fell apart and I am sure there was a big group of players not happy with him anymore and he needed to go.

    The direction of the team is now back on the right path. If they bring in a Ruff or Wilson, then you can question the direction. If they bring in Boucher or AV, then don’t question it. AV and Boucher never had Lundqvist as a goalie. If these two can bring scoring, the Rangers will be much better, much healther, and more rested (Giardi/Staal/MCD) come playoffs.

    • Mike W says:

      Longest hockey game ever.

      Make good points, but this also isn’t pee wee hockey. Keenan was way more of a jerk than Torts ever was. That’s been documented and printed. These are men. Haven’t we played sports? The best coaches are the ones that keep you focused on the task at hand. BUT I can see where after awhile the message gets old. LOTS of question marks coming.

  16. HARLEMBLUES says:

    All i ask is for a person to be fair and honest.Suit you have been both with your posts.That being said Suit,Tortorella had to go,Suit he had to.This team came out not ready to play time after time and at home.He admitted he don’t have them ready to play Boston.What kind of Sh6t is that.It’s the FCKING play offs.His favorites could do no wrong.The PP oh Hagelin is to fast.He puts his failure to get the PP go in on Hagelin being to fast.This team has gotten younger,faster and skilled and he didn’t alter the system to take advantage of their skill set.He’s was stubborn.We have the best goalie in the world let him stop pucks.Pressure the points and not let a undrafted FA look like Bobby Orr skating around untouched at the blue line blasting shots thru rangers playing the shell game.Let the KING BE THE KING.3 rookies,3 rookie defenseman and we still can’t score.No adjustments to our break out PLAY that didn’t work last yr against the Devils.

    • The Suit says:

      As long as my honesty and sincertiy is appreciated, I can live with disagreements. Onward.

    • Walt says:

      He had a major fault, he was too loyal to certain players, and it came back to hurt him. Case in point, Brad was a shadow of the player he was in the past, yet Torts supported him come heck or high water. He couldn’t see beyond his loyalty, stuck with his friend, and cost us games.

  17. supermaz says:

    Mike Eaves pleeze …
    No retreads.

  18. Walt says:

    With a few simple moves, if they can be made, we would be in a position to win it all. The following line up looks good to me, any takers?





    Powe extra forward




    Strals extra d-man

    That is 4 balanced lines, bigger defense, PP QB in Byfuglin, true grit on the 4th line, as well as the second with Clarkson, and youth!

    This is very doable with just one trade of MDZ for Buff, and one free agent signing, then let them fly. The 3 kids Kreider, and Miller will have a full season, along with Lindberg to learn the game and prepare for a cup run.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      I like the pieces Walt, a lot.I would put Kreider with Nash and Brassard.I would put Clarkson with Step and Cally.I would not overpay for Clarkson or anybody.Staal with Byfuglin and McD with Girardi.I want to see more O from McD, it’s in him,you see it.I agree bigger,faster,a little nastier and tougher to play against.The kids get 82 games to prepare for the play offs.Lets get up ice and get after it.

      • Walt says:


        Interchangeable parts, what you say makes sense. I don’t care who the new coach is, please lets get set lines, and let them develop some chemistry together, rather than changing from shift to shift.

        Given the opportunity to play, without fear of riding the pine for making a mistake, I believe that the kids will do just fine. The only question mark might be Lindberg, but we can work around that should the need arise.

    • Jackson says:

      That makes too many assumptions for my taste. That’s a solid lineup assuming Kreider can actually start performing during the regular season, Miller elevates his game, and Lindberg makes the jump. While I don’t doubt the talent and potential of any of these guys, I try not to expect things based on said potential.

    • wwpd says:

      walt if you could make that lineup happen somehow you should be the gm that’s a pricey 4th line winger you’ve got there!

  19. Joe says:

    Thanks Suit, nice job! Although I don’t know Torts personally, I do believe he is a nice guy. In fact, 4 1/2 years ago, I wanted him here badly, because I thought he was “the” guy. He made some progress, but was unable to adapt away from his system when he got more talented offensive players. Thanks for your loyalty to the crest! Even though we do not always agree. 😉

  20. Erixon20 says:

    Walt, I like that team. Doubt the Jets would do MDZ for Buff straight up, but we have other, smaller pieces to chip in. And if not Clarkson (who will be getting paid), someone like him would be a great addition. And ROLL 4 LINES!!!Plus Buff and and McIlrath will keep the crease clear, but that 3rd pair would have plenty of nervous moments.

    • Walt says:

      It’s a learning curve, and they will make mistakes, that’s why we have erasers on pencils!!

      MDZ and other pieces would work, besides how happy really is Buff up in the cold country???? How happy would he being in the Big Apple?

  21. paulronty says:

    Like you I was a big Torts fan too, and I think he is a very good man but I had come to the conclusion that it was time for him to go. Torts problem is that he is all too often ruled by his emotions, which resulted in his doing & saying things that disrupted team unity. When the General loses the troops it’s time for him to go. This is a quality team that underachieved and all year long I’d tell my wife that there is something wrong in the locker room. Gabby’s tweets & Avery’s kind of allude to it I’m not worried about the teams direction but hiring the right coach is paramount and it’s not Vigneault. Messier is my choice but I doubt he’ll want it, but he coached the Rangers through the Campbell years even though people don’t realize it because Campbell was clueless. I wanted Sather to hire Dave Tippett when he hired Trottier and Tippett would be a very good choice now. I don’t have much respect for Sather at all. The best move he ever made was hiring Gordie Clark. Hiring Torts was a good move too because Torts did a lot for the organization & team, but it was time for a change.

  22. upstate tom says:

    loved torts myself, wanted him back before he even got here cause i didn’t think he had a fair shot at it the 1st time and loved his persona. that being said, i think we all new that we needed some type of change. i think the change needed, needed to come from all corners of the rangers management, coaches and players. sort of how can “WE” do this better and work on it as a whole. i think torts needed to be part of the change. internal thought process changes, which i don’t think we’ll get with a new coach. SO, who would i like for our new coach? “”””john tortorella”””” enough said !!!

  23. upstate tom says:

    oh by the way, i know injuries are part of hockey but staal, clowe and strallman healthy was not torts fault.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:


      • Dave says:

        Not sure it’s fair to fault Torts for the lack of AHL depth to cover for multiple injuries.

  24. Ray says:

    Nice post Suit. I too will miss Torts and am apprehensive about what lies ahead. I did disagree with your earlier post “Rangers are closer to the Cup than you think”. The Rangers appeared outclassed by Boston and seemed more than a few tweaks away from the Holy Grail. I expected Sather to make some changes no one saw coming where the Rangers got rid of an important piece to turn the page somehow. Really didn’t think it would be Tortorella though. The bad news is that big changes are as likely to make the team worse as to make them better.

    Incidentally, the firing doesn’t mean your earlier post was wrong. I think it just means that Sather thought you were wrong.

  25. @NYRFan_RF says:

    I can identify with what Suit said. I liked Torts a lot and I’m not sure a coaching Change is the way to go. In this case though if many of the players were not happy with the way he spoke to them in the Locker room. I like the way the team is set up now and I hope a new coach don’t come in and try to change the personnel. This is Sathers team so I doubt that.
    With the emergence of John Moore, Del Zotto could be expendable. The Rangers have 3 3rd round picks. Maybe Sather can use DZ and a 3rd to get a pick and a player. A prospect maybe, because many of NY’s best prospects are in or close to the NHL already. DZ to Edmonton or Colorodo. Top 3 players in Entry Draft are very good players.

  26. Arisrules says:

    I don’t understand this piece at all. It seems that the main motivating factor for the The Suit this past disastrous year has not been facts, but rather that he is loyal and likes Torts as a person.

    I like Torts a lot as well! He’s funny, and has that go-to attitude that is easy to follow.

    However, what I do not like is that his team is worse now then the one he inherited, even though we have more talent. I do not like the fact that our PP is abysmal and static and has been getting worse every year. I do not like how our defensive zone posture was to collapse below the hashmarks, flinging our bodies in front of pucks, even though a modicum of pressure on the points and some aggressive play in that regard would completely change how opposing teams would play against us. I do not like how Torts would run 3 lines at most, and run dudes into the ground (if people are wondering why Girardi and McD took big steps back this year, that is reason number 1). I do not like how he throws people under the bus.

    But all that is moot because of the trump card: he lost the room. That we even made the playoffs with what was clearly a dysfunctional team is more of a testament to Lundqvist than anything else. He is arguably the second best player in the NHL after Crosby, and I would say the best simply because of his durability.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t quite see where you say Suit doesn’t have any facts about Torts. He’s been very detailed about his style of play ( Whether you agree with Torts’ style or not, you can’t say Suit doesn’t present the facts.

      Another fact is that we don’t know the direction of the team at the moment. Who’s the new coach? Will he have a say in the player decisions? Will the players respond to him?

    • wwpd says:

      worse than the team he inherited? the team with scott gomez, chris drury, wade redden? boy tough crowd!

      JT coached the most successful ranger team since gretzky, messier, leetch, graves, and beuk all played together, and he did it with a heck of a lot less firepower to work with.

      • Arisrules says:

        That’s exactly my point, Torts this season was working with exponentially more talent than he inherited, yet our results were marginally better than those teams all things considered. That has to be considered a failure, and part of that comes in managing the team. He clearly did not do that well.

        I”m not arguing about the Suits previous posts, I appreciate them, but I am singling out this one in particular because of its bizarre sentimentality. The tone of this post leads one to question whether The Suit is as neutral as he claims to be. Or at least that’s the reaction I got from reading it the first time, and the feeling I still get.

        Anyway, I read Hockeyrodent’s recent rant, and he breaks down exactly the way I view the team. Yes the team is flawed, but Torts didn’t do enough to mitigate those flaws. That combined with losing the lockerroom means he had to go.

        • Arisrules says:

          And I’m speaking about offense specifically. The team’s work ethic on 5 v 5 defensive and commitment to sacrifice for the common cause was impressive.

          I think this is a good post as well:

        • wwpd says:

          I’m still confused how this team is worse than the one he inheritted. I’d say he left us with a much better team than he had at the time (a team that renney was fired mid season and then missed the playoffs the following year)

          Again, I give the guy some credit for taking last year’s team to within one game of the cup finals, which is the most exciting thing to happen in rangers hockey in the last 15 seasons or so (aside from the face-guarding incident, which was also pretty spectacular)