Rangers fire Tortorella

The New York Rangers relieved head coach John Tortorella of his coaching duties on Wednesday.

The Rangers finished sixth in the Eastern Conference and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before losing to the Boston Bruins in five games.

There is no immediate word on his replacement.

"There wasn't one specific reason that I decided to make this choice. It was the choice of how we're going to get better," Rangers general manager Glen Sather said during a conference call with the media.

Tortorella's most successful season with the Rangers came in 2011-12, when he guided the club to a 51-24-7 mark. New York made it to the conference finals as the top seed, but lost to the New Jersey Devils in six games.

Tortorella took over as coach when Tom Renney was dismissed in late February of 2009. The Rangers went on to lose in the first round of the playoffs that season, despite at one point holding a 3-1 series lead over the Washington Capitals.

After missing the playoffs in 2009-10, the notoriously feisty bench boss led New York back to the postseason in 2010-11. Once again, the Rangers lost to the Capitals in the first round.

"After doing the analytical work ... I came up with the decision that I really needed to do something to really improve our team moving forward," Sather said.

Tortorella, who won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the spring of 2004, ranks first on the NHL's all-time wins list among U.S.-born coaches with 410 career victories.

The 54-year-old Tortorella joined Tampa Bay following a one-year stint with the Rangers in 1999-2000 where he was an assistant coach and served as head coach for the final four games of the season. Tampa Bay compiled a 239-222-36-38 record during Tortorella's seven seasons as coach.