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Canucks GM lauds Torts for calm, quiet approach… wait, what?

Oct 22, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT


The John Tortorella era in Vancouver hasn’t been entirely without confrontation. There was that time last month when he threatened to “walk” if cellphones went off during his press conferences. And he got in a bit of a yelling match with the Edmonton bench earlier this month.

But besides a few isolated incidents, the famously volatile head coach has actually been pretty measured in his approach.

“He’s got a good sense of humour about it all and is just a lot quieter and calm,” Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said, per The Province. “He’s a very good coach and doing things behind the bench through the course of a game to change momentum — and to keep momentum.

“For me, from the time we hired John, it’s been an invigorating exercise with a fresh approach in how the game is thought about. It was a difficult transition to go through, but it’s also one that I’ve enjoyed after the fact. I really like the way he’s handling the team.”

Torts has certainly had opportunity to fly off the handle. But, for example, a 4-1 home loss to Montreal on Oct. 12, complete with a third-period no-show from his troops, was met with a simple, “We didn’t play a good third period.”

Of course, that’s only what he told reporters. His message may have been a little different when he spoke to his players in private.

At any rate, it’s still early. The real test for Tortorella’s composure will be if the Canucks (5-4-1) are out of a playoff position later in the season. And if that doesn’t happen, the test will certainly come in the playoffs.

Vancouver plays the Islanders tonight in Uniondale before finishing its seven-game trip with games Thursday in New Jersey and Friday in St. Louis.

Related: Tortorella wants better working relationship with media

  1. mgp1219 - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Just another reason to shake my head and laugh at the Cannots. They are clueless from top to bottom. Just give Torts a little more time and he will show his true colors. as soon as Luongo lets up a few more soft goals, Torts will become that smarmy child he is known to be.

    • stakex - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      He’s also a very good coach, who has a Stanley Cup on his resume and a trip the ECF… what have you done lately?

      • President Charles Logan - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        What has your team done lately? as in the past 20 years since you inched out a Cup win ? … maybe go 7 years straight with the highest payroll ion the history of the NHL and miss the playoffs , or sign every over the hill aging ex super star that turns out to be a flop ? or brag and boast about that over rated goalie you got that has never even reached the SC Finals ……
        yeah thought so ….

  2. joey4id - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    “Of course, that’s only what he told reporters. His message may have been a little different when he spoke to his players in private.” And that the way it should be. Praise publicly and reprimand privately. That should be the norm. Criticizing publicly should be the exception, and when the exception becomes the norm (as in NY), then it’s time to get a divorce. Go Torts! Anybody know what the odds are in Vegas on his first public outburst or criticism towards his team or a player?

    • elvispocomo - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      I get your point, but I wouldn’t even say praise publicly. He can say they were bad, and he has, so long as it’s a measured response without turning it into a negative and sarcastic comment. It’s early, but I’ve been pleased with how he’s responded for the most part, showing a bit of fire when needed and/or standing up for his players as well while not getting out of hand with the media.

      God knows there are plenty of idiot reporters in Vancouver that will provoke him though, intentionally or just out of sheer stupidity.

  3. mrhyperpants - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Early days

  4. tbbolts91 - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    After Guy Boucher started taking the calmer approach the bolts started losing… I don’t think torts wil lose his prowess though

  5. banger60 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Give him time…..:

  6. barkar942 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    I am sure there are twenty guys in New York that might just regret their whining to Slats at the end of last year. How’s that new coach working out for you? Oh yeah. Not too well!

  7. blomfeld - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    GO TORTS !!! :)


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