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Report: Canucks offer head-coaching job to Tortorella

Jun 21, 2013, 1:46 PM EDT

From Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press:

And this on the same day Alain Vigneault was introduced as the new head coach of the New York Rangers.

From Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun:

The Canucks told TSN that “no decision has been finalized yet,” but if Lawless’ source is correct and John Tortorella is indeed about to become the next bench boss in Vancouver, it will be extremely interesting to hear why general manager Mike Gillis decided on a coach that was deemed by Rangers general manager Glen Sather to be too defensively minded.


“I like an upbeat, fast style of play with quick transition,” Gillis said recently. “We managed to do that and we were successful.”

Granted, after the Canucks were swept out of the playoffs, Gillis seemed to suggest the club would have a fairly different on-ice philosophy next season — one that was more about winning battles in the corners and in front of the net than using speed and skill to defeat the opposition.

“When I took this job we decided on a style of play that resulted in great success,” said Gillis. “Certainly the landscape has changed. We have to address those changes moving forward. We have no choice.

“It’s not something I necessarily, principally agree in. But that’s what we face. We have to make the changes and adjustments that are necessary to compete for a Stanley Cup. It’s my intention to do it, recognize what is going on and make sure we have a team that is better equipped.”

It may also be unfair to pigeonhole Tortorella as a defensive coach. After all, this is the same guy who won a Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay with a “safe is death” credo. Perhaps he didn’t feel he had the right personnel in New York to play an attacking style.

There’s also no question that Tortorella can be a great motivator, and after two consecutive first-round exits, the Canucks could possibly use some, er, let’s call it…stimulation.

Though Kevin Bieksa may disagree…

  1. ibieiniid - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    prepare to see this a lot when there’s no call because a ‘Nuck dove.

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      He needs to do the Pop N’ Babcock

  2. thailer35 - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    As if the Canucks weren’t already a train wreck that the media couldn’t stop talking about.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      Now, I’m really hoping for the Seattle Coyotes. I’m not watching this Canucks clown show. Either they hire Stevens or I’m tuning out for the 15 years it will take to make it back to the Finals. This is amateur hour.

  3. blackfoot11 - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Someone tell me what Mike Gillis is doing?

    • jdd428 - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      He scapegoated AV for his own mistakes that led to the early outs the past two years (although AV deserves a bulk of the non-player blame for gagging the 3-2 lead at home in the 2011 Finals).

      Then he didn’t have a better option than AV, but wanted to make a splashy hire. Reminds me of when they hired Keenan. This will only get worse before it gets better.

  4. blackhawksdynasty - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Wonderful. Nobody in the east would give this douche a job?? Now we’re stuck with his obnoxious, childish antics far more often. Just another reason to hate Vancouver….

    • blackfoot11 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Truth be told, there were only three other openings outside of the NYR head job. Edmonton, Vancouver, and Dallas. So Torts could only go West if he wanted a gig. Enjoy.

      • blackhawksdynasty - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        Good point. But surely a team overseas could use him. At least the media there would have difficulty understanding his insults!

      • blackfoot11 - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        Torts will have his “Whining Superstars” and “Arrogant Organization” comments ready for all the WC teams in no time. He made one or both of these comments about every team in the East.

    • lesbuckets - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM


  5. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    I think this could work if Torts changes his philosophy. Instead of imposing the same ‘throw yourself in in front of the puck’ and grind grind and grind some more philosophy (blue collar play) he maximizes all the assets at his disposition to do what each can do best. And for the sake of collaboration, stop being antagonistic during the press conferences and stop being confrontational with the players behind the bench. Leave that sh*t on the dressing room. There are enough reality shows out all the networks. Let the big money players be the stars is the game.

    • hockey412 - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      He’ll also have to stop roasting his players to the press, stop benching them every other game (and start COACHING them) and stop being an all-around a-hole that is deplorable in every sense of the word and pretty much impossible to follow as a leader.

      When SEAN AVERY thinks YOU are a clown….chances are you’re a clown.

      • sunderlanding - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Avery thinks everyone is a clown. Don’t trust Avery on anything. The guy is clueless.

    • ray2013 - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      I was listening to the radio today. The host made the suggestion that Torts will likely have a better relationship with the media in Vancouver for two reasons: 1) his antics with the media became a source of distraction, and he is smart enough not to make the same mistake again, and 2) more importantly, the Vancouver media is not the New York media, who apparently have a number of less than pleasant people who can be difficult to get along with. Is this a plausible observation?

      • kitshky - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        I’ma go with no on both points… this is going to be a trainwreck.

      • ray2013 - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:56 AM

        Torts only came here once in the last three years, so we never really got to witness any of his schtick. If he’s in Vancouver, we’ll get to see a lot more of it. Thanks for the heads up.

    • superbran17 - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      Eight teams blocked more shots than NYR this last season and four teams were only 4 blocked shots behind NYR. They did not deploy the “block shots at all costs” style of play the last few seasons.

      Going back 4 seasons, they finished 9th three times and 7th once.

      • scrappy1994 - Jun 23, 2013 at 4:21 AM

        You might want to go back and recheck those stats. This past season the Rangers were 6th in the league in regular season total blocked shots. Going back four seasons beginning with the 2011-12 season they were ranked 4th, 4th, 11th and 26th, respectively.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      You must not be married. This is like expecting to sleep together more after the ridiculously expensive reception and honeymoon. Maybe it happens, but I kind of doubt it.

  6. bleedrangerblue - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Good luck Canucks lol

  7. jb8383 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    I feel bad for Canucks’ fans.

  8. DED - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Vigneault to NYR; Tortz to Vancouver. Interesting experiment.

  9. crazemastercraze - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Bwahaha. Torts will be mike gillis’ Damocles sword

    • lesbuckets - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      If Damocles sword is bad, I’m with you there!

  10. pirovash88 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    It’s a sad day for hockey..

  11. jcmeyer10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Hey, leftcoast and Torts will get along great.

    All joking aside Luongo must be pretty stoked his contract just became the second most talked about thing regarding the Canucks.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      Hey, jcmeyer and J C Penney will get along great.

  12. jpelle82 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    this whole thing wouldve been a lot better of a story if they wouldve traded them instead of firing and hiring. been a while since a coach trade was made. remember when the rags traded for a coach only to fire him a year later…THAT was funny…he got fired after 1 year with the rangers and then went back to the nordiques. the nordiques got a 1st round pick for him in the trade….that pick ended up being none other than Joe Sakic! probably why no one trades coaches anymore…

  13. adambballn - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    As a Blackhawks fan and someone that hates the Canucks… I love this move.

  14. steverolley - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    1. look at Bieksa’s tweet, its time for a reality check! Looking forward to a coach who will call out his players when they aren’t giving a 100% (which was pretty much every player on every night for the last two seasons)

    2. Looking forward to Tortarella ripping Vancouver reporters like Tony Gallagher a new one! Most of the local reporting on the Canucks is TMZ quality or worse and its time they were called on it

    3. Pretty much everyone on the Canucks has a no trade clause, so if Torts pisses them off enough getting them to waive it won’t be hard

    4. Most importantly, if (maybe when) this blows up, Gillis will be out of excuses and be shown the door

    • jpelle82 - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      all good points, seems like a match made in heaven.

  15. jacketsfan7 - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    They traded coaches….

  16. caniac4ever - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Torts to the media come playoffs, “The Sedin twins are garbage.”

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      He’ll be twice as efficient at alienating his players.

      • caniac4ever - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Hahaha! The ole 2 for 1!

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        It’ll be called the Torts by the time he is kicked to the curb in Vancouver.

    • steverolley - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      So what

      Fact is the Sedins have been playing like garbage in the playoffs for a while now. Call it as you see it Torts!!! Call out any of the players who aren’t pulling their weight.

      I guess calling out Richards for sucking all year and making a LOT of money was a bad thing in New York, but here in Vancouver I think a reality check is what this team needs

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM

        I think these things are better done in a locker room. Like when Tyler Seguin was miked up for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals and he knew grown men were going to do some talking and threw his pads in the training room so it stayed private.

        That’s how you handle things. You protect your players in regards to the media and then speak to them like men in private so everyone wins.

  17. canucks30 - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:36 PM


  18. kingcobraman - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    talk is cheap lets see what he does….speculation is always proven in accurate …

  19. northstarnic - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Just. Wow.
    Giving a whole new meaning to the name Nuckleheads. Now they have the ultimate Nucklehead leading the charge to under-achievement-ville.

  20. neelybourque778 - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Love it. This seals the deal that the Canucks will never get another legit sniff at the Cup. Tortorella is a fraud.

  21. proudliberal85392 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Hope this is accurate. The entertainment value alone would be priceless.

    • blomfeld - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      Proudliberal85392 = Quality

      TOO FUNNY !!!

      It’s now going to be positively ‘hilarious’ here in Vancouver, as this has all the makings for a complete and utter disaster in every conceivable way! Nonetheless, something is telling me that perhaps Tortorella was hired by ‘decree’ by the Aquilini’s themselves and that Gillis’ days may now be now numbered? Guess we’ll find out soon enough eh ? :)

      ps; and no I am ‘not’ a Canuck you stupid idiots !

      GO CANUCKS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. jpat2424 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    From one D bag to the next.

  23. lgredwings - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Reblogged this on Let's Go Detroit Red Wings and commented:
    This hire is a match made in heaven. Canucks and Torts are full of talent but eventually flake out. Have fun Vancouver.

  24. bobhpine - Jun 22, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    At least if this miserable piece of garbage has to coach he is doing so on the west coast. The nightly tough guy act around reporters can go on out of sight and out of mind.

    Are the Canucks crazy? This guy is such an over the hill tool. His players hate him, the fans hate him, reporters hate him. The guy is a jerk. Have fun Vancouver.

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