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Where Does John Tortorella Rank Among New York Rangers' All-Time Best Coaches?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 1: John Tortorella of the New York Rangers looks on during practice for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images
Nick KrapfContributor IIIJuly 25, 2012

Since 1926, the New York Rangers have had 33 different coaches.

Out of those 33 coaches, 13 have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, 11 coached the Rangers for their entire career, and three have won a Stanley Cup.

The three Cup-winning coaches were Lester Patrick (1928, 1933), Frank Boucher (1940) and Mike Keenan (1994).

Current Rangers coach John Tortorella nearly added his name to the list this year, when he led the team to the Eastern Conference finals, but lost to the New Jersey Devils in six games.

Tortorella’s resume with the Rangers in three and a half seasons has been impressive. In 267 games, Tortorella has won 145, including 51 this year, which lead the franchise to their third 50-win season all time.

He’s led the Blueshirts to the playoffs three out of four times, but has gotten the team out of the first round only once, which was this past season. However, his tenure seems far from over, especially after signing an extension in 2011 that will keep him behind the bench through the 2013-14 season.

Tort’s fiery attitude and willingness to sit down players who don’t give 110 percent makes him a very unique coach. In addition, his up-and-down relationship with the New York media makes him one of the most unique coaches the Rangers franchise has ever had.

So, out of the 33 coaches who have stood behind the Blueshirts' bench, where would current head coach John Tortorella rank?

My top five list shapes up like this.

 

5.  Roger Neilson

He coached from 1989-1993, in which he won close to 57 percent of his games. He led the Rangers to the 1992 Presidents trophy, however, never got the team past the second round of the playoffs.

 

4. John Tortorella

Mainly, he's here for all the reasons stated above. He has plenty of time to move up, as long as he has continued success.

 

3. Emile Francis

Francis coached the Rangers for three different stints (1965-68, 1969-73, 1974-75), winning 342 regular season games. He led the Rangers into the playoffs in nine out of ten seasons, getting the team to the Stanley Cup finals once.

 

2. Lester Patrick

The very first coach of the Rangers, Patrick coached the team from 1926-1939, winning 281 games in that span and only missing the playoffs once. He's the only Rangers coach to win two Stanley Cups with the team (1928 and 1933).

 

1. Mike Keenan 

Even thought he only coached one season, it was the biggest season ever in franchise history—52 regular seasons wins and the Rangers' fourth Stanley Cup.

 

While he may be fourth on the list, all Rangers fans can agree that we wish John Tortorella continued success with the Rangers, with the ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to New York City.

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