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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born June 24, 1958 (1958-06-24) (age 51),
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Left
Pro clubs Virginia Lancers
Playing career 1982 – 1986

Jonathan "John" Tortorella (born June 24, 1958 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American professional ice hockey coach and is currently the head coach of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is perhaps best known for his tenure as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he led the team to the 2004 Stanley Cup. Tortorella became head coach of the Lightning on June 6, 2001 and stayed on until his firing on June 3, 2008 after six and a half seasons, having compiled a 239-222-36-38 record. The firing took place four years after the team's Stanley Cup victory.[1]

Tortorella has been credited by East Coast Hockey League founders Henry Brabham and Bill Coffey with coming up with the name for the league during a league meeting at a Ramada Inn in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. At the time Tortorella was the head coach of Brabham's Virginia Lancers, but left the Lancers to become the assistant coach of the American Hockey League's New Haven Nighthawks before the ECHL's inaugural season in 1988.[2]


Early life

Tortorella "The Paper Italian" played college hockey at the University of Maine from 1978–81, along with his brother, goaltender Jim, who now serves as head men's coach for Division III Colby College. He also played right wing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and ACHL. He briefly played with Oren Koules while with the Hampton Roads Gulls of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League. The two would later reunite in Tampa Bay, as Tortorella was the coach and Koules became one of the new owners of the Lightning.

Coaching career

Tortorella's coaching career began with the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Rochester Americans and the ECHL's Virginia Lancers. He was also an assistant coach for the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks and Rochester Americans, and the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers. He won the Calder Cup with the 1996 Rochester Americans.


Tampa Bay Lightning

Tortorella is an exuberant coach, known for criticizing his own players and for his somewhat unusual style of systematically rotating goaltending duties. He was particularly hard on Lightning goaltender John Grahame for much of the 2005–06 season. Grahame subsequently signed with the Carolina Hurricanes before the start of the 2006–07 season.

He was involved in controversy yet again after game five of Lightning's series against the New Jersey Devils during the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs. During a press conference in which Tortorella was visibly irate and disappointed, he told New York Post reporter Larry Brooks to "get the fuck out of here" live on CBC television.

Tortorella was fined $10,000 by the NHL for negative comments he made about the on-ice officials after a 4–3 overtime loss at the Atlanta Thrashers on November 19, 2007.

After his dismissal from the Lightning, Tortorella was an in-studio panelist on the NHL on TSN.

New York Rangers

Tortorella was named head coach of the New York Rangers on February 23, 2009, replacing Tom Renney, who was fired earlier that day.[3] On March 17, he became the American-born coach with the most wins in NHL history, surpassing Peter Laviolette.

Tortorella was suspended 1 game by the NHL for an altercation with several Capitals fans behind the bench in the third period of Game 5 in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Replays show the fan clearly heckling Tortorella through verbal jeering, before Tortorella responded by throwing a water bottle at a fan before grabbing a stick from Aaron Voros and trying to spear the fan through a space between 2 panes of glass. He did not receive a penalty on the play despite the fact NHL Rules state any physical altercations with fans result in ejection from a game; however, the next day the NHL stepped in and suspended him.[4]

United States national men's hockey team

John is also the current assistant coach of the U.S. National Men's hockey team[5], replacing Peter Laviolette, which included leading the squad at the 2008 IIHF World Championship, where they finished sixth.

NHL coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish W L Win % Result
NYR 1999–00* 4 0 3 1 - 1 4th in Atlantic (73 Pts.) -- -- -- -
TB 2000–01* 43 12 17 1 3 28 5th in Southeast (59 Pts.) -- -- -- -
TB 2001–02 82 27 40 11 4 69 3rd in Southeast -- -- -- -
TB 2002–03 82 36 25 16 5 93 1st in Southeast 5 6 .455 Lost East Semifinals
TB 2003–04 82 46 22 8 6 106 1st in Southeast 16 7 .696 Stanley Cup Champions
TB 2005–06 82 43 33 - 6 92 2nd in Southeast 1 4 .200 Lost East Quarterfinals
TB 2006–07 82 44 33 - 5 93 2nd in Southeast 2 4 .333 Lost East Quarterfinals
TB 2007–08 82 31 42 - 9 71 5th in Southeast -- -- -- -
NYR 2008–09* 21 12 7 - 2 26 4th in Atlantic (95 Pts.) 3 4 .429 Lost East Quarterfinals
NYR 2009-10 42 20 17 - 5 35 3rd in Atlantic -- -- -- -
Total 595 267 238 37 43 27 25 .519

* - Mid-season replacement

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Mancuso, Jim (2007), 20 Years of the ECHL, ECHL, p. 6 
  3. ^ "Tortorella named head coach of Rangers". New York Rangers press release. February 23, 2009. 
  4. ^ Staple, Arthur (2009-04-26). "Now it's Tortorella that gets benched". Newsday.,0,5709970.column. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  5. ^ "John Tortorella, Scott Gordon join U.S. Olympic Hockey Coaching Staff". ESPN. June 29, 2009. 

External links

Simple English

John Tortorella was the former coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tortorella won both the Jack Adams Award and the Stanley Cup, with the Lightning, in 2004.

NHL coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
GWLTOTLPtsFinishWLWin %Result
NYR1999–00* 4031-14th in Atlantic (73 Pts.) -- -- -- -
TB2000–01* 43121713285th in Southeast (59 Pts.) -- -- -- -
TB2001–02 822740114693rd in Southeast -- -- -- -
TB2002–03 823625165931st in Southeast56.455Lost East Semifinals
TB2003–04 824622861061st in Southeast167.696Stanley Cup Champions
TB2005–06 824333-6922nd in Southeast14.200Lost East Quarterfinals
TB2006–07 824433-5932nd in Southeast24.333Lost East Quarterfinals
TB2007–08 823142-9715th in Southeast-------
NYR2008–09* 21127-2264th in Atlantic (95 Pts.)34.429Lost East Quarterfinals
NYR2009-10 422017-5353rd in Atlantic-------
Total 595 267 238 37 43 27 25 .519


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