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Renney-less New York Rangers Just Plain Stink Under John Tortorella

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - APRIL 24:  Head coach Tom Renney the New York Rangers looks on during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against  the New Jersey Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena April 24, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Rangers 4-1 to take a 2-0 series lead.  (Photo by Jim Mcisaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Steve McSweenSenior Analyst IFebruary 13, 2010

They are hired to be fired. It is the NHL coaching creed.

In some cases it is the right thing to do, but in the case of the New York Rangers, who dismissed Tom Renney last year, the move made about as much sense as Aerosmith going on tour with Justin Timberlake as their lead singer.

Under the John Tortorella regime this season, the Rangers are 26-27-7 in 60 games thus far. Last season after 61 games, Renney had guided the club to a 31-23-7 record, yet he was let go.

Bringing Tortorella on board was simply another idiotic decision from GM Glen Sather, who hasn't had success since the Reagan administration.

I mean really...Tortorella? The guy is more suited for a Howard Stern-esque late night radio show than a hockey coach. Besides, the Rangers already had Sean Avery—with two guys that like the smell of their own farts as much as those two, it's no wonder the team stinks.

The Rangers have been about as consistent as Jennifer Aniston's love life.

The fact is, Renney is a smart hockey man, who coached some pretty mediocre Rangers teams to three 40+ win seasons in his little over three years behind the bench in the Big Apple.

And he most likely would have made it four if the fans didn't start calling for his head there.

The statistics don't lie, Blueshirt fans: His .577 winning percentage is tops all-time when it comes to Rangers coaches that have been with the club for two seasons or more. And he only trails Mike Keenan (.667) and Emile Francis (.661) for the overall best record, and neither of those two coached more than 108 games in New York.

It's real simple: When the Rangers don't qualify for the playoffs this season after four straight appearances, it won't be because of the lack of talent on Broadway, but rather who is directing the players.

Yet, Glen Sather will most likely keep his job, and so will John Tortorella for that matter as he has become somewhat of an icon in New York. But so was Kathy Lee Gifford at one point.

Meanwhile, this season could have been avoided if Renney was still at the helm. The hockey people in the NHL don't refer to him as "the professor" just because he dresses sharp, people. Renney is legitimate, and he knows the game.

If he had absolute control in Edmonton, there is no doubt in my mind the Oilers squad would have a much better record. That, however, is simply not the case.

While Rangers fans will stay up late scratching their heads wondering what's wrong with their club this year, they need not look further than themselves to lay the blame.

The ones that demanded a coaching change, that is.

While Tortorella is entertaining at times, he isn't as fun as watching playoff hockey at Madison Square Garden.

'Nuff said.

 

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