The process of building the New York Rangers so they are not left bringing knives to a gunfight, the way they were in the playoff confrontation with the Washington Capitals, will continue with John Tortorella behind the bench, the New York Post reported Sunday.
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Sources said that Tortorella’s contract, originally due to expire after this season, was extended a couple of months ago.
Madison Square Garden and Rangers executives cited policy in declining comment, but it was believed that the extension will cover the next three seasons.
Tortorella, who was hired on Feb. 23, 2009, has taken the Blueshirts to the playoffs twice in three years, but his teams departed both times in the first round, and both times to the Capitals.
Two years ago it was a seven-game series, the Rangers blowing a 3-1 series lead. This time, it ended in a tidy five games, elimination coming Saturday with a 3-1 defeat in which the Rangers scored their lone goal, and just their eighth goal of the series, with 31.5 seconds to play.
"I don’t think our team is fully built yet, and I’ll be honest, we’re not there as far as talent," Tortorella said minutes after the season came to an end. "You look at where this Washington team was, and [how they added] draft picks."
"We’re still in a process, trying to get better," he added. "There are areas with our team where we need to be better. But we’ll continue to build and continue to find our way."