Rangers’ Head Coach John Tortorella reached a major coaching milestone with the Rangers’ 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers – his 400th career win as an NHL head coach. He becomes just the 30th coach in NHL history to amass that many victories. In 838 career games behind the bench, Tortorella has led his teams to a record of 400-335-37-66. Already the winningest US-born coach in NHL history, he also becomes the first American head coach to hit the 400-win mark.
Tortorella is in his fourth full season with the Rangers. Three more victories will tie him with Tom Renney for fourth all-time in franchise coaching wins with 164. Only Emile Francis, Lester Patrick, and Frank Boucher have more. (Boucher, with 181 career wins, is the only one within reach – but that would have to wait until next season.) Tortorella’s 303 games behind the Rangers bench are enough for fifth all-time with the team.
In his 14 years of coaching split between the Lightning and the Rangers, Tortorella has claimed one Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year. That was back in 2003-04, the same year he navigated the Lightning to the team’s sole Stanley Cup Championship. He was a finalist for the award again in 2011-12, when he coached the Rangers to a record of 51-24-7 and the second-best point total in Rangers history (109).
Don’t think Tortorella has a wrap on the records for US-born coaches. Peter Laviolette, the man behind the opposing bench for Tortorella’s 400th win, is right behind him. The Flyers’ bench boss has 379 career victories, second best all-time among American coaches. Knowing Torts, it makes it just a bit sweeter to have reached this milestone against him.
Career: 838 games – 400-335-37-66
Lightning: 535 games – 239-222-36-38
Rangers: 303 games – 161-113-1-28
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Josh is a life-long hockey fan. He grew up as a fan of the New York Rangers, but thanks to their general mismanagement and years of mediocrity, has developed a great appreciation for every team across the league.
He’s been writing about hockey on various sites since 1995. In addition to his work at The Hockey Writers, he also keeps tabs on the referees over at ScoutingTheRefs.com.