John Tortorella is out as coach of the New York Rangers.
Less than a week after the Rangers were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, Tortorella was let go after 4 1/2 seasons on the job. The team announced Wednesday via its Twitter feed that Tortorella was "relieved of his coaching duties."
The Rangers entered the lockout-shortened season with Stanley Cup aspirations but struggled just to make the postseason, needing a late surge to qualify. In the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. the Rangers eliminated the Washington Capitals but then fell in five games to the Boston Bruins in the conference semifinals.
The 54-year-old Tortorella, who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004, finished his New York stint with a 171-105-29 record and a 19-25 mark in the postseason, leading the team to playoffs four times. The Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference finals last season before bowing out against the New Jersey Devils.
Tortorella's gruff style apparently grated on some of the players, including veteran Brad Richards, who was made a healthy scratch in the series against the Bruins and wasn't happy about it. The Rangers also had trouble generating offense throughout the season.
Tortorella took the job in February 2009 when he replaced Tom Renney.