Tortorella available if Sens want him

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

If the Senators want to bring in a disciplinarian as coach, John Tortorella can officially be added to the list of candidates after he was fired yesterday as the Lightning's bench boss.

With ESPN analyst Barry Melrose waiting to take over as coach in Tampa once the sale to Hollywood producer Oren Koules is complete, Bolts GM Jay Feaster announced Tortorella's firing so the fiery coach has the chance to find a job.

"By making this decision now, both the existing and incoming ownership groups are attempting to give (Tortorella) every opportunity to pursue the numerous head-coaching vacancies that exist throughout the league," Feaster said in a statement.

Senators GM Bryan Murray would like to have a coach in place before the June 20-21 NHL draft at Scotiabank Place. As reported by Sun Media, Murray will meet with Kitchener Rangers coach Peter DeBoer this week, while former Atlanta coach Bob Hartley and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds bench boss Craig Hartsburg have been invited back for second interviews.

With Tortorella available, the Senators' hiring process could change.

The ornery Tortorella might not be easy to work with, but he won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004 -- something that won't be lost on Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who could very well order Murray to give Tortorella an interview.

The Senators aren't likely to be the only team interested in Tortorella.

SHARKS INTERESTED

The Sharks are also expected to show interest because they've had a difficult time trying to get a contract done with leading candidate Joel Quenneville, who parted ways with the Avalanche after Colorado was eliminated from the playoffs by Detroit.

Tortorella will also get consideration in Atlanta where he has a close relationship with GM Don Waddell.

"The only concern with Tortorella is the amount of power this guy wants," a league executive said. "He wants to make sure that everything in the organization is done his way."


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