Glen Sather said yesterday the decision to fire John Tortorella was his. The reality is the players made the decision for the club president and general manager.

The Rangers players had had enough of the coach and they said so during their exit meetings on Monday. Sources have confirmed Sather had no intention of dismissing Tortorella in the wake of the team’s second-round elimination by the Bruins until a critical mass of players informed the GM that the coach’s overbearing personality had become a roadblock to success.

When Henrik Lundqvist told the press Monday he would need time to think about committing his future to the Rangers, that was the tip of the iceberg. The franchise goaltender did not sing an executioner’s song, but we’ve learned that he was troubled enough by what had become a deteriorating dynamic between the coach and his teammates that he believed it was necessary to give voice to it.

We’re told that though there were no ultimatums issued by the players, the overwhelming sentiment was that Tortorella had become the problem rather than the solution for the Rangers, who are now going on 20 years and 19 seasons since their last Stanley Cup in 1994.

In the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s Game 5 defeat in Boston, Tortorella blamed himself for being unable to get the best out of the Rangers’ top players. On Monday, at what turned out to be his own exit interview with the media, he blamed himself for not being able to get the team properly prepared for the second-round series.

Sather refused to indict Tortorella for anything during yesterday’s conference call with the press. He refused to identify a reason for the move, acknowledging that he was being “vague.” Clearly, he did not want to leave the impression his players had blood on their hands, or that the team faced the prospect of an in-season mutiny if camp opened in September with Tortorella still in place.

The GM, who confirmed that he will continue in that position, did talk about “a shelf life” for coaches. And while Sather was accurate in suggesting all coaches have a shelf life, for those with the unyielding, acerbic, critical approach of Tortorella, seasons of “sideways steps,” lead to steps out the door.

It is difficult to paint a broad brush over Tortorella’s regime. Marian Gaborik had two of his best seasons playing for him as well as his two worst before finally being forced out the door, a victim of barely disguised scapegoating. Chris Kreider couldn’t have met with a more skeptical coach, yet young players such as Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh blossomed quickly playing for him.

(Tortorella incredibly warned the press not to “interfere” with his relationship with Gaborik hours after No. 10 had been shipped to Columbus at the deadline. Yesterday afternoon, Gaborik posted, “Everything happens for a reason...” on his Twitter account.)

Tortorella would not modify his zealous safety-first, block-every-shot approach to fit his personnel. He demanded that every player, regardless of talent, adapt to him. The 2012-13 Rangers were not the 2011-12 Black-and-Blueshirts, yet he would not adjust his blueprint.

But it wasn’t the demanding on-ice style that finally grinded down the Rangers. It was, we’re told, the harshness with which he too often interacted with the athletes. The angry public face of Tortorella was too often the private face, as well.