Lundqvist denies being behind coach Tortorella's firing Staff

6/19/2013 1:11:06 PM

By his own assessment, Henrik Lundqvist isn't a coach-killer.

With the New York Rangers set to introduce Alain Vigneault as their new bench boss on Friday, their star goaltender cleared the air on speculation that he had a hand in the dismissal of now-former head coach John Tortorella.

"I know there is some speculation regarding Torts being fired, but let's be clear on one thing," Lundqvist told Larry Brooks of the New York Post via an e-mail on Wednesday. "It's not my call who the coach should be for the New York Rangers.

"I would never put pressure on the management on decisions like that. I'm just a player. My focus is to play the game and do the best I can on the ice. Whatever [happens] off the ice, I leave to our great staff we have working for this club."

Lundqvist added that whoever the coach is does not have any bearing on his contract status or his desire to stay in New York. He has a year left on his existing deal, but negotiations for a new contract have not started and as TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reported on Tuesday, the Rangers want to get their franchise player locked up.

"It has no impact for me on who the coach is when it comes to my contract," Lundqvist told The Post. "I love everything about the New York Rangers. I love the fans. I love the organization.

"I hope we can work something out when it is time to do so."

Files from The New York Post were used for this report.