Rangers' Tortorella could lead Team USA

ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose believes New York Rangers taskmaster John Tortorella is the odds-on favorite to step behind Team USA's bench at the 2014 Winter Games, assuming NHL players participate as expected.

"Tortorella is a natural choice to lead Team USA at the Sochi Olympics," Melrose, formerly the coach of the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning, said of the Boston native on Tuesday night. "The guy has won a Stanley Cup (with the Bolts in 2004) and he's got the Rangers playing a great style of hockey. He's a solid coach, meticulous in his planning, and that team would be ready to play."

He'd certainly be familiar with many of its players. The Blueshirts have an NHL-leading 11 Americans on their roster, including Olympic shoo-ins Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Callahan.