BYLSMA IN LINE TO BE TEAM USA HEAD COACH?
In a somewhat surprising move to observers around the league, the New York Rangers have fired head coach John Tortorella. The Rangers came into this season as a preseason Cup favorite but failed to meet expectations and the magic Tortorella had behind the bench in 2011-2012, wore off this season. He ran Marian Gaborik out of town, benched Brad Richards in the playoffs, which might have been deserving, and at the end of the day never got the most out of his top talent.
Coaches like Tortorella who are so demanding and sometimes cross the line in calling out players have expiration dates.
The Rangers job will immediately become a sought out job from the likes of top coaching candidates Lindy Ruff, Dave Tippett and Alain Vigneault.
The Tortorella firing could have an impact on Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma.
There has been a thought in league circles that Tortorella and Bylsma were the two most likely coaching candidates for the Team USA head coaching job in the 2014 Olympics. One thought from those in the industry has been that it would be Tortorella’s job because he is basically the next guy in line.
Team USA officials won’t bring Brian Burke back as GM because they want the Team USA General Manager to currently be an active General Manager in the NHL. That will likely hold true for a coach.
Dan Bylsma now becomes a heavy favorite for the job. Predators GM David Poile and Penguins GM Ray Shero are the front runners to be named Team USA GM.