You're fired (no, not me)

The start of this season saw the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins play in Sweden while the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning took the ice in the Czech Republic.

Today, the four coaches of those clubs are all out of work.

The underachieving Rangers on Monday fired Tom Renney with the team mired in a 2-7-3 skid. Earlier this season, the Lightning axed Barry Melrose after 16 games, the Sens pulled the plug on Craig Hartsburg after 48, and the Penguins let go of Michel Therrien less than a year after he guided them to the Stanley Cup finals.

After 12 seasons away from coaching, Melrose was a bad fit. The same can be said for Hartsburg in Canada’s capital. Therrien? You’d think that any team with players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the roster would translate to job security – instead the Penguins proved they desperately miss a veteran scorer like Marian Hossa.

For the Rangers, this was a move that needed to be made, but shouldn’t be the last either. General manager Glen Sather needs to be shown the door as well.

Chris Drury and Scott Gomez for more than $80 million? Wade Redden – six years, $39 million? That’s why.

Keep in mind the Blueshirts opened the post-Jaromir Jagr/Brendan Shanahan era with five straight regulation wins, and while an overall mark of 31-23-7 is not bad, they’re one of four teams without a 20-goal scorer, joining Minnesota, Edmonton and the New York Islanders.

In fact the Rangers have lost 11 in a row (0-8-3) when scoring two goals or less. Kind of brings into focus why they’re closer to being out of the playoff mix rather than contending for the Atlantic Division.

No three-hour practice is going to fix that.

Now that Stanley Cup-winner John Tortorella is behind the bench, the Club Med days on Seventh Avenue will end immediately. (Cue Altruda – “I’m tired of the whining…”)

Tortorella doesn’t expect respect – he commands it. But, there is no Vincent Lecavalier on this team, so it will be interesting to see how much patience Tortorella will have.

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