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Rangers’ Lundqvist says that he didn’t demand Tortorella’s ouster; Vigneault to be hired Friday

Amidst the theories that certain New York Rangers players encouraged the team to part ways with John Tortorella, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist assured the New York Post's Larry Brooks that he neither encouraged the management to fire Tortorella, nor did he threaten to not re-sign with the team after his current contract expires next summer should the team retain Tortorella (though Brooks stands by his report that the Rangers' players told management that Tortorella and the players did have issues):

Henrik Lundqvist, who on break-up day became the Rangers’ public voice of disaffection that in retrospect foretold the firing of John Tortorella as head coach 48 hours later, told The Post that he “would never put pressure on management on decisions like that.”

“I know there is some speculation regarding Torts being fired, but let’s be clear on one thing,” Lundqvist said via an e-mail on Wednesday that contained his first comments on the matter. “It’s not my call who the coach should be for the New York Rangers.

“I would never put pressure on the management on decisions like that. I’m just a player. My focus is to play the game and do the best I can on the ice. Whatever [happens] off the ice, I leave to our great staff we have working for this club.”

Continued, and, regarding the Rangers' next coach:

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Comments

shanetx's avatar

If the star player is a free agent or an upcoming free agent, not giving a vote of support is the same thing as asking him to be fired.  The management will clearly pick Lundquist over a questionably effective coach so if the perception was that Henrik wanted Torts gone, Henrik had to either say that wasn’t the case or keep quiet and let it happen.  Did he actively campaign to get Torts fired?  No.  But he’s still partially responsible.  This exact same situation just happened in the NBA with Chris Paul and former Clippers coach
Vinny Del Negro.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/19/13 at 12:40 PM ET

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Henrik is responsible for saving goals, and he was, and is, spectacular at it.  Teams have the exit meetings with players to find out what is going on with them, and the team so as to improve it for the future.

If Henrik was asked about Torts system, and he was honest, more power to him. However he was clearly not the only one on this team who no longer was buying into the Torts strategy of bringing everyone in and collapsing around the goalie leaving the blue line free from our wingers to defend and then attack. There were many on this team who were not being utilized properly, and some who were being completely misused. Additionally he was not getting the most out of the young future stars of the team, players like Kreider, Miller and Hagellin. They would come up, play great until Torts broke them, and then they were afraid to make mistakes and thus have the hockey world be told that they “stink” like Hagellin was.

If the leaders on the ice told the truth to management, and enough of the true leaders of the team were listened to, then the firing is ALL on Torts, and to some degree, Sather, but not, not ever on the one player who kept them in the last two seasons.

Posted by michaelshore on 06/19/13 at 01:02 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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