Rangers fire coach John Tortorella
The fate of assistant coach Mike Sullivan will be decided during the team’s organizational meetings in June.
“Hopefully whoever we hire has a lot of the good things that Torts had and a lot of good things that Tom Renney had,” Sather said. “There are a number of good coaches around, and a lot of them have different qualities. It is a little tricky sometimes to find someone who has all those qualities.
“I am certain that we’re going to find the right person.”
Last season, Tortorella led the Rangers to 51 wins _ the second-most in franchise history _ and 109 points before they were beaten in six games by New Jersey. He finished his Rangers tenure in fourth place on the team’s coaching wins list.
“One of the things, and it falls on my shoulders, is our team’s mindset going into another round,” Tortorella said. “I don’t think our mindset was ready to play another series and to the level you need to be at. It didn’t have a playoff atmosphere.
“That’s what I struggle with right now. I didn’t do a good enough job in correcting and getting their mindset back to not only play at the level of a Game 7 in the first round, but get ready for round 2, which is always going to be tougher.”
But Tortorella was defiant in his assessment that this wasn’t a down year for the club.
“I know the surrounding feeling here is that it was a negative season, a disappointing season. I don’t buy it and I won’t,” Tortorella said. “There are some good things that happened. I don’t think we took a step backward. I think this is a sideways step in our lineup and how things worked out.
“We played really well our last couple of months to get in, found a way to win a big series against Washington, and against Boston I thought we competed right to the end.”