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Tortorella latest AHL graduate behind NHL bench

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.

Tortorella, 50, becomes the 34th Head Coach in the 83-year history of the Rangers. With Tortorella’s hiring, there are now 17 former AHL head coaches serving as NHL head coaches, including seven — Tortorella, John Anderson, Bruce Boudreau, Todd McLellan, John Stevens, Barry Trotz and Mike Keenan — who won Calder Cups during their AHL coaching days.

Tortorella 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 and coached in the 1997 AHL All-Star Classic.