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Report: Vancouver has serious interest in Tortorella

Jun 11, 2013, 1:18 PM EDT

John Tortorella Getty Images

Yesterday it was reported that the Dallas Stars are interested in former New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella. It turns out they might have some competition.

The Vancouver Canucks are talking to Tortorella and he’s regarded as a strong candidate to be the team’s next bench boss, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie.

Tortorella would bring with him a no-nonsense approach and an emphasis on gritty, body-sacrificing play to a team that ranked near the bottom of the league in hits and blocked shots this season.

Of course, he’s also known for his signature way of handling the media. Imagine the quotes that this year’s goaltending controversy between Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo might have produced…

Tortorella led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup championship in 2004 and took the New York Rangers to the Eastern Conference finals in 2012. Meanwhile, the Canucks have excelled in the regular season over the last two campaigns, but have promptly collapsed in the playoffs.

  1. barkar942 - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Like Sather said, all coaches have a “shelf life”. Last season, he was at the peak of his worth as a coach with the Rangers.
    Then, the lockout and loss of some of the gutsy players from the team changed the dynamics this season, and his “shelf life” had expired.
    I, for one, am not happy to see Torts leave. That being said, I understand why.
    Now, for Torts to go into a team that has underperformed under an easier style of coaching like Vancouver or Dallas, he can turn a team around, just as he did with the Rangers. He changed around player personnel and created the dynamics in the locker room that worked very well last year. This year, however, the team dynamics were different.
    I feel that before Torts ends his coaching career, he will once again hoist the Cup as a head coach.

  2. philly4lyfe - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    one problem Vancouver hasn’t had in recent years is the ability to score goals. I guess they are looking to change that.

    • 19to77 - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      By hiring a guy who can’t run a power play and demands his skill guys sacrifice scoring chances in favour of shot blocks? Torts doesn’t solve any of the Canucks’ problems offensively. He’d actually make them considerably worse.

      • rdurk86 - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        I think you missed the sarcasm there.

  3. r4n6er - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:49 PM


    • stakex - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Because Torts is a good coach who has a Stanly Cup, another trip to the ECFs, and a pretty good record. That’s why.

      • r4n6er - Jun 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Can’t wait to see him make the Sedins and Kesler dive in front of pucks and get injured. After all we saw how well Van did when Kesler was injuried…

  4. kenchambers - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Does anyone remember Mike Keenan in Vancouver?

    The first thing he did was trade Linden to assert his authority.

    Same thing will happen with Torterella

  5. ljacks11 - Jun 11, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Wish we still had him back in Tampa, You either love him or hate him

    • barkar942 - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      Agree completely!

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      It’s easier to love him when he wins Stanley Cups.

  6. rpiotr01 - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I was just thinking that the Canucks biggest problem is that their star players haven’t been insulted through the media enough, or benched for doing exactly what the coach asks.

    • stakex - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      First of all, Torts made negative comments about ONE player through the media. He was asked why he didn’t use Hags on the power play and gave an honest response. Its not like he was asked why his power play was bad and then chose to himself single him out. Aside from that he almost never would make direct comments about players.

      Second, can you point to a player Torts benched for “doing exactly what he asked?” Because I’m pretty sure Torts didn’t ask Gaborik to only score one goal in 20 games, or ask Richards to take the post-season off.


      You highlight whats wrong with NHL players today. They get held accountable for bad play, and its the coach whos the bad guy.

  7. pastabelly - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    While his shelf life expired in NY, his limited shelf life would get the Canucks through the primes of the Sedins. That’s all they should be looking for. He would also bring some discipline to Vancouver. I could see this working, but a tough Canadian hockey media might not put up with his BS.

    • captngeetch - Jun 12, 2013 at 6:52 AM

      “…but a tough Canadian hockey media might not put up with his BS.” So, What exactly would the Canadian media do ? They can’t take his birthday away from him. What ? Write negative articles ? Call him names ? He doesn’t care. The NHL fined him a few times..did it work in curbing his mouth ? No, so short of a reporter bringing abaseball bat and kneecapping him, the “Canadian media” can’t do squat.

  8. nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Torts and the Sedins. I just don’t see that working well. But then, I also would not have predicted Malkin and Crosby getting zero points in the CF.

  9. frenchy48 - Jun 11, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Another very successful and famously abrasive coach–Lou Holtz–said that you’re never as popular as a coach than on your first day. Since there is only one champion every year, a proven cup winner like Tortorella will always be in demand. Also, Steve Shutt said of Scotty Bowman: “364 days a year we hated Scotty, then we collected our Cup.” Or “6 days a week we hated Scotty, and on the 7th we polished our rings.” Everyone wants to win, but so very few want to make the necessary sacrifices required.

  10. nightfireop - Jun 11, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    a crackhead coach and a crackhead team…….what a solid combination.

  11. joelwrobinson - Jun 11, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    HAHAHA pleeeeeeeeease hire this guy, Vancouver. Go Sharks.

  12. amityvillefun - Jun 11, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    The Sedin brothers would probably quit if he was hired.

    “Wha wha what? You want me to get in front of a slap shot? Are you crazy? YOU get in front of it Torts!”

    – Danny Sedin

    “Wha wha what? You want me to get in front of a slap shot? Are you crazy? YOU get in front of it Torts!”

    – Henrik Sedin

    Torts would pop a vein in his forehead just trying to figure out which one is which!

  13. slysipops - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    TOTORELLA would really spice up the HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA TELECASTS ! he singlehandedly took NBC to the brink of an R or X rating when the sound got too close to his bench during nationally televized games ! as a HAWKS fan i would love to see the NUCKS hire him. he got the best out of players like NASH ,GABRICK and others !

  14. papajack1259 - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    He won a cup…even a blind squirrel finds a nut
    to caustic, abrasive, and rude to coach all but the dim witted he is a loser who thinks more of himself than the team he will fail wherever he goes

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