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Tortorella named head coach of Rangers

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has named John Tortorella as the team’s new Head Coach.

John Tortorella has won championships at three levels of professional hockey, including the 1996 AHL Calder Cup and the 2004 Stanley Cup championship as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tortorella, 50, becomes the 34th Head Coach in the 83-year history of the Rangers. He returns to the organization after serving as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning for seven seasons. Under his guidance, Tampa Bay compiled a 239-222-36-38 record in 535 games. He led the Lightning to four consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff appearances, including two Southeast Division Championships in 2002-03 and 2003-04. 

In 2003-04, Tortorella guided Tampa Bay to a franchise record 46 wins and 106 points, and went on to capture the club’s first Stanley Cup Championship.  He was awarded the Jack Adams Award as the National Hockey League’s top coach following that season.

Tortorella joined Tampa Bay following a one-year stint with the Rangers in 1999-2000 where he was an Assistant Coach and served as Head Coach for the final four games of the season. Prior to joining the Rangers, he spent two seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Phoenix Coyotes.  He joined Phoenix during the 1997-98 season, after spending the previous eight seasons with the Buffalo Sabres organization. 

Tortorella served as an Assistant Coach with the Sabres from 1989-90 to 1994-95 and as Head Coach with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Rochester Americans, during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 campaigns.  He guided the club to the Calder Cup championship in 1995-96.

The Boston, Mass., native spent two seasons as General Manager and Head Coach of the Virginia Lancers of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League (ACHL) from 1986-87 to 1987-88, where he compiled a 73-24-1-0 record to earn Coach of the Year honors both seasons, along with the league championship during the 1986-87 campaign.  Following the 1987-88 season, Tortorella joined the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League (IHL) during their 1988 playoff run before serving as an Assistant Coach with the New Haven Nighthawks (AHL) in 1988-89.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Tortorella played at Salem State College before transferring to the University of Maine Black Bears of the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC), where he skated for three seasons as a right winger.  As a member of the Black Bears, Tortorella registered 26 goals and 52 assists for 78 points, along with 133 penalty minutes in 65 games, and was twice named an ECAC All-Star. 

After playing in Sweden, he returned to North America to skate in the ACHL with the Hampton Roads Gulls, Erie Golden Blades and Virginia Lancers, recording 98 goals and 160 assists for 258 points, along with 302 penalty minutes in 200 games over four seasons.
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