On Sportsnet, former NHL goalie John Garrett was asked about John Tortorella being fired by the Rangers.
Garret was 68-91-37 in 207 career games and said of Tortorella, “here is another guy who didn’t play in the NHL, now I know Doug [to Doug MacLean], you didn’t play in the NHL but your major asset and attribute is people skills and you played in the minors and learned it. John Tortorella, talk about not a players coach…NO IDEA. Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette, guys who have played in the NHL and know what it is like and then you get John Tortorella…it just drives me nuts.
Michael Grange writes at Sportsnet “But the bully act Tortorella presented in public always meant a little more to me, for some reason. Here was a coach who was by any measure a marginal professional hockey player who required his players to throw themselves in front of pucks at a rate never before seen in the NHL. He struck me as the worst kind of general — the kind that encourages his troops to make great physical sacrifices without having any of his own battle scars to show them.”
Grange said that since Tortorella didn’t have the past as a tough guy, he would take out his anger and show his toughness when dealing with the media.
Even with the charity work and way he is off the ice, Grange said that Tortorella liked being a bully and that he is a phony.
Tortorella played three seasons (65 games) for the University of Maine and then played four seasons (200 games) in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League before turning to coaching.
Current NHL head coaches who didn’t play in the NHL are Claude Noel, Jon Cooper, Ken Hitchcock, Pete DeBoer, Barry Trotz, Michel Therrien, Mike Yeo, Ralph Krueger, Mike Babcock, Bob Hartley, Ron Rolston,
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette played 12 career games in the NHL. Sharks coach Todd Mclellan played five. Islanders coach Jack Capuano played five. Todd Richards played eight. Claude Julien 14.
Alain Vigneault played 42 games in the NHL.