Lundqvist, “Had no role in Tortorella’s firing”

Henrik Lundqvist did indeed give a public voice to the Rangers’ disaffection on break-up day that, in retrospect, foretold the dismissal of John Tortorella as head coach 48 hours later, but this was not a case of the King leading a coup, it wasn’t that at all.

“I know there is some speculation regarding Torts being fired, but let’s be clear on one thing,” Lundqvist told The Post yesterday via e-mail in addressing the situation for the first time. “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.”

A player? Yes. Just a player? Hardly. No one in sports is irreplaceable, but the franchise goaltender is as close as they come to fitting that description for the Rangers. And when Lundqvist issued a tepid response regarding his desire to sign a long-term extension on his contract that expires after this coming season (“We’ll see”), alarm bells began to sound about the direction of the franchise.