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Glen Sather excerpts on dismissal of John Tortorella

Rangers GM Glen Sather is seen in this

Rangers GM Glen Sather is seen in this undated photo. Credit: Getty Images

If you’ve been working today and away from the media, here’s some excerpts what President and GM Glen Sather (who will retain both jobs, by the way) said about the somewhat sudden firing of coach John Tortorella:  

“It wasn’t the consulting group that made the decision, I made the decision,” Sather said on a conference call. “It wasn’t one situation, it wasn’t one specific thing.”  I asked if the offense and the power play were factors, and he said:

“I won’t speculate or criticize what happened with Torts or give reasons on why. After the work we did after the year trying to improve the team, it’s a decision that I made, it was consulted with a few people, but removing anyone from the coaching role is a difficult decision. It was a tough decision but I feel like I made the right decision for us to move forward. After doing the analytical work we do after every season, I thought I needed to do something to move our team forward.”

“Every coach has a shelf life and I have told every coach I have hired that this will happen. I had to make a decision and I did. Every team has a formal decision to make. It wasn’t one situation or one specific thing. It wasn’t the power play. There were a few things that went into this. It was more of a decision on how to get better and challenge for the Stanley Cup.”

How did Tortorella react to his firing? “I think he was a little shocked. He’s a gentleman. He took it well…The decision wasn’t made lightly. I think anytime somebody loses a job, it’s a bit of a shock. I don’t think he was prepared for it.”

The Rangers’ season? “Did they play up to expectations? No. That’s probably as far as I can go with that answer.”

Is there a timetable for hiring a new coach? “We have our organizational meetings in June and we will spend that time going over people and doing interviews. That process will start soon and I hope to have it over by the draft (June 30)…There are a lot of factors when looking for someone who can get us to our ultimate goal. It isn’t an easy thing to achieve. Hopefully whoever we hire has a lot of the good things that Torts has, the good things that Tom Renney has. There are a lot of good coaches out there…I can’t predict what the new coaches system will be like, but if you look at the teams contending for the Stanley Cup, they all have specific ingredients and I would like to take all of them and bring them together.”

Should his new coach have a better relationship with the media? “In dealing with the press, it’s important that you have a relationship if it’s good or bad. It’s a matter of sports in the modern world, some people relish it and some people are reserved. I’m not getting into any specifics with things that happened or didn’t happen. That is part of the world of professional sports.”

Assistant coach Mike Sullivan is still on staff, Sather said. (Personally, I can’t imagine that he will be around much longer.)

On Henrik Lundqvist’s comments on Monday about a contract extension: “We’ll see” and his view that the season was a “step back”, Sather said, did not play a role in Tortorella’s ousting. In fact, Sather declared that “We plan on signing Henrik to a long-term contract.”

On Brad Richards, the decision to bench the veteran center for the final two playoff games was not made by Tortorella alone but was “an organizational decision.”

Sather said Chris Kreider (who was yanked up and down by Tortorella) “played very well. Young players sometimes take longer to develop. I think Chris was fine. He will be an excellent player. I am not disappointed in his development and I think he will be a great player for us for a long time.” 

New York Sports