From John Dellapina of the NY Daily News:
Here’s a beauty that was making the rounds today – albeit one that several phone calls have assured me has no validity: Just-dismissed Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella takes over as Rangers head coach with Tom Renney moving back upstairs into a player personnel position as an assistant GM.
This is one of those rumors that makes plenty of sense depending upon your view of the two coaches in question. If you’re among those who believe Renney is a build-the-foundation guy (such as Roger Neilson) and Tortorella a finish-the-job guy (such as Mike Keenan), you might love this notion.
Similarly, Tortorella’s affection for New York and the Rangers’ franchise is unabashed. As is Renney’s selfless willingness to do whatever is best for the organization.
Only problem is the Rangers have no plans to replace Renney and haven’t reached out to Tortorella (though the well could do so soon to bring him back under the Rangers’ umbrella in some capacity).
As fiercely principled as he is competitive, Tortorella was livid yesterday to learn that this rumor was making the rounds. A big fan of Renney’s work, the two communicate often. In fact, Tortorella congratulated Renney upon making the playoffs and consoled him upon the Rangers’ elimination. And Renney reached out to Tortorella to commiserate when the latter was rumored to be fired and then was.
“This is just wrong,” Torts told me yesterday. “Everybody should just stop it! First of all, I’m a big fan of Tom’s. How can people start rumors like that?”
Read the entire entry from the Blueshirts Blog.
I have no doubt that John Tortorella would be a great fit with the Rangers in NY, however, it would be very difficult for Glen Sather to replace Tom Renney right now. Renney is largely responsible for the Rangers post-lockout turnaround and has moved the team to the second round in the past two playoff years. The fact is, both teams that the Rangers have lost to in the playoffs (Buffalo and Pittsburgh) were better than them. Not only were the two teams higher in the standings, but they were more talented as well. If the Rangers pull off a move like this, the pressure will be tremendous on Broadway.