"This has been a very difficult decision because of everything that John Tortorella has meant to and done for this organization," general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement. "Torts came to Tampa and not only built the foundation under our club but he also changed the culture and raised the expectations, eventually leading us to the Stanley Cup in 2004. What he accomplished during his tenure in Tampa was nothing short of remarkable and our organization will always owe him our thanks, gratitude and deep respect."This firing comes on the heels of the Lightning finishing last in the NHL this season, tied with the Kings. With all of the talent on the Lightning, this was inexcusable.
Tortorella was well-known for his temper and you just have to wonder if the players had finally tuned him out. Hey, it worked in 2004 when the Bolts won the Cup. John won the Jack Adams trophy that year as well. But it has been a downward spiral since then, and a lot of it originated when Nicolai Khabibulin left and a suitable replacement has not really been found since.
Tortorella's record with the Lightning: 239-222-36-38 over 8 years as coach.
The rumors have been running rampant over the past several hours that former Kings coach Barry Melrose will replace Tortorella. Sounds good to me, as long as he sports a mullet!
Tortorella memorable quotes
"And I hope he (Sean Burke) plays well," Tortorella said. "And if he plays well, he's going to go again. This is what we have. And I'm not up here trying to rip anybody apart, but let's be fucking honest about what's going on here. And it's getting old. We're going nowhere, nowhere until that (goaltending) situation is straightened out."
After a disappointing loss to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals, Tortorella was mad at then-Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock for barking at Lightning players. In a classic interview the Tampa coach said:
"Last time I looked, he's wearing a suit back there, the same type of suit I'm wearing," Tortorella said. "He's not in the battle. There are two quality teams here. He should shut his yap. It's not about him. It's about two quality teams.That was awesome stuff. But nothing beat this tirade:
We understand how Philly works as far as the dialogue that goes on with all this stuff here, but when it comes to a coach and an opposing player, it's disrespectful and it's wrong. That's got to stop. Park your ego. Shove it in your pocket."
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