Michael Peca has had some time to reflect on his playing career, and looking back the former Sabres captain sees something very clear about the modern game, something John Tortorella struggled with before getting fired as the coach of the Rangers on Wednesday.

“Coaching in today’s game is as much dealing with the personalities as it is dealing with the system,” Peca told The Post Friday from his home in Buffalo, where he coaches junior hockey.

For three years in Buffalo, Peca was the captain of a Sabres team that had Lindy Ruff as their coach, one of the top candidates available to replace Tortorella in New York. He may now have stiffer competition as both Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky are interested in the job, The Post has confirmed.

The Blueshirts also have been given permission to speak to former Canucks headman Alain Vigneault as well as Toronto Marlies (AHL) coach Dallas Eakins.

Peca’s first season with Ruff was 1997, his first as a NHL coach.

“He showed a great deal of command of the players, understanding of the personalities,” Peca said. “I’ve known him a long time and he just continued to get better in that process.”

In 1999, the two led the Sabres to the Stanley Cup finals — just the second time in franchise history — falling to the Stars in six games in 1999. (They also lost to the Flyers in 1975.) Ruff stayed with the Sabres after Peca was traded to the Islanders in 2001, and was fired early this season after starting 6-10-1.