Before we completely say goodbye to John Tortorella as head coach of the New York Rangers, the New York Daily News compiled this video tribute to the deposed bench boss, which includes an altercation with Washington fans at Verizon Center in 2009.
My personal favorite is the clip from Philadelphia [circa 2010] when Tortorella challenges New York Post beat writer Larry Brooks, who questioned the Rangers' unwillingness to defend Marian Gaborik after he was beat up by Dan Carcillo. I was immersed in that scrum [wearing the brown watch band] and as I walked down the hallway and back to the press box with Brooks after the altercation I felt like a teenager walking down a dark alley after a street fight.
There has been plenty of speculation over who will replace the sharp-tongued Tororella behind the Rangers bench next season, from Lindy Ruff, the former Sabres coach who might be a perfect fit in New York, to Toronto Marlies coach Dallas Eakins, former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, Rangers assistant Mike Sullivan, current Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, and even Hall of Famer Mark Messier.
And don’t forget the beloved Mike Keenan, who interviewed for the Capitals’ head job last summer and recently took a coaching post in the KHL.
But to me, the bigger question is where Tortorella will land next. Will there be any interest in Dallas or Vancouver, the only two coaching vacancies in the NHL besides New York?
Whether you like his “Next Question” act with the media or not, it’s hard to ignore Tortorella’s coaching record.
In his last 10 NHL seasons, his teams have made the playoffs eight times, gotten to the second round four times, gotten to the conference finals twice and won a Stanley Cup once.
That’s more than just about any other former NHL coach looking for work.