A couple of thoughts about John Tortorella, who will be named the next coach of the Rangers presumably later today. Everything is in place but since Tortorella, contractually, still belongs to the Lightning, the Rangers and Tampa Bay need to agree on compensation for Tortorella's services. Wouldn't call it a snag just yet, just the price of doing business.
That said (a Tom Renney phrase I will no doubt continue to use), the Rangers still have not announced a time for a conference call, most likely meaning the negotiations are not over.
Give GM Glen Sather a little bit of credit here. He could have taken the easy route and named Jim Schoenfeld interim coach for the rest of the season and then decide whether to give Schoenfeld the job full time over the summer. But Sather chose (or was convinced) to go outside the organization for a proven winner. Look at Sather's previous hires with the Rangers: Ron Low (an Edmonton buddy), Bryan Trottier (a disaster), himself (ditto) and Tom Renney (who was in the organization already and ran many of the practices during Sather's tenure as coach). Trottier was the only outside-the-organization guy and Sather hired him for the wrong reasons (famously: his good penmanship, though surely there were other things that impressed Sather).
The fiery Tortorella will, in many ways, opposite to Renney. He's not afraid to call out players publicly, something Renney abhorred. He'll no doubt have the Rangers playing more aggressively in the offensive zone. And players not playing well can expect to see their ice time slashed. Renney did that, at best, in drips and drabs, never fully bringing down the hammer that he so often talked about.
Tortorella can certainly be grating, no doubt one of the coaching tools he prefers to use. I'm sure he'll come in and light some kind of fire under the Rangers' collective backsides. But a switch behind the bench doesn't change the fundamental flaws in the composition of this roster. Even if it attacks in the offensive zone with greater consistency, it's still bound to be a low-scoring team because of a lack of finishers. And Tortorella's relationship with the mercurial Nikolai Zherdev will bear watching. Zherdev's often frustrating penchant for freelancing may quickly try Tortorella's patience.