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Gillis won’t say if Tortorella’s lost Canucks room

Mar 12, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT

Vancouver’s Mike Gillis met with reporters at the GM meetings in Boca Raton on Wednesday, and was decidedly tight-lipped about the future of embattled head coach John Tortorella.

“I am not going to comment on specific things about John,” Gillis said, when asked if Tortorella had lost the dressing room (per CBC). “It is unfair to him.”

The most telling part of Gillis’ scrum is that “no comment” really meant “no comment.” The Canucks GM was mum on both sides of the Tororella discussion — he refused to acknowledge rumors of a pending dismissal, but also refused to give the coach a vote of confidence.

Gillis did call the Canucks a team “in transition” and said there was plenty of blame to go around for the disappointing season. Gillis also suggested, curiously enough, that he still has the support of the Aquilini ownership group, which is important given there’s as much uncertainty surrounding Gillis’ future as GM as there is with Tortorella’s future as head coach.

Yesterday, The Province’s Jason Botchford wrote that ‘it’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,” even suggesting Torts would be turfed prior to tonight’s game in Winnipeg.

Who exactly pushed for Tortorella’s hiring has always been a big question in Vancouver. If it truly was Gillis, it was an odd choice for a general manager who had always prided himself on a progressive hockey philosophy. Tortorella is more of an old-school coach, which is why many believe it was Canucks ownership that wanted him, not Gillis.

We wondered last week if Tortorella’s system was a major part of the problem in Vancouver, and certainly nothing we’ve seen since has made us stop wondering.

  1. JoeAvg - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Ahhh the old “no comment” instead of the more honest “what, are you blind? Of course he has!”.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 12, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Where is Malkin to give us the straight talk?

  2. nobandwagoners - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I don’t doubt that Gillis “has the support of” the Acquilinis. As the article alludes to, a common school of thought is that the Acquilinis are very much ‘hands on’ in making hockey decisions – perhaps TOO hands on, from directing who was to be hired as the coach (I don’t think Torts was Gillis’ choice) and nixing trades, trade options and buy-outs (i.e. Luongo – not shelling out for what would have been a huge buy-out on Lu). I think Gillis follows the beat of their drum and has remained mum on those inner workings, doing his thing as he can within the confines he is under.

    In any event, I don’t think the Canucks have fared very well under the Acquilini and Gillis stewardship; immediate returns have been pretty bleak and who knows how the young ‘talent’ in Utica will pan out.

  3. jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    i think he lost them in training camp when he tried to install a riduculous training regimen. the calgary attack was just a desperation bid to endear himself to the players but ended up backfiring and just looking ridiculous. he’s as good as gone.

  4. bcsteele - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Well whether he has or hasn’t, Gillis coming out with the “no comment” walk clearly says something is going on.

    My question is how do you lose a room in less than one year? I’d think one would have to try to do that…or John was the wrong person for the job all along. The players may have never respected him enough based on reputation alone, which does have weight. Just look at what Colorado has accomplished with a coach the players really can’t challenge (if you know what I mean).

  5. comeonnowguys - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Gillis should be the last person commenting on something like that.

  6. patthehockeyfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    And the Vancouver soap opera continues. Tune in tomorrow ………..

    • patthehockeyfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      ……. for the next episode of “Days of Our Dysfunctional Lives”

      • nightfireop - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        got my popcorn ready 😎

  7. joey4id - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    I assure you that he has lost the locker room, and he probably has been told that he will be relieved of his coaching duties next year.

    joey4id – Mar 11, 2014 at 12:40 PM
    Hold on! This team has been in disarray for months. They’ve had to deal with so much controversy. Torts has lost the dressing room, and has coached himself out of a job with all his antics. I wouldn’t be surprised that they already told him he won’t be back next year. Gillis is responsible for hiring Torts, and he is responsible for losing the dressing room. One game doesn’t make it the fault of the coach, but this game put in the context of the ongoing saga and mess they are experiencing completely falls on the shoulder of the bench boss. There is such a term as “team psychology”, and their psyche is shot.

    joey4id – Mar 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM
    His problems started before Feb.

    joey4id – Feb 4, 2014 at 12:22 PM
    My guess is that Torts has loss the dressing room, and I believe his career is fast on the decline, and this might be his last stint. He was spiraling downwards in NY, and that momentum he brought to Van.

    • bcsteele - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Do you want a cookie?

      I feel like you have to much time on your hands to dig up comments from last month…to each their own though.

      • joey4id - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        LOL! Why do you care about the time I have my hands? That’s really the question. Can you answer that?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        “last month”?
        You’re being too kind to the troll. 2 out of the 3 are his comments from yesterday.

      • bcsteele - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        I don’t care what you do with your time. However, I’m going to assume with all of your self justification you may not of been loved enough as a child since you need all of us to come pat you on the back regarding issues the majority of us already knew, or assumed, was the case.

        So much so that you’ll dig up comments from yesterday, the day before yesterday, or even last month to make sure we all know where you stood, and how right you are.

        I’m just an observer though. Again, to each their own. Knock yourself out.

      • mcflower29 - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        joey, since you can’t figure it out i’ll speak on everyone’s behalf:

        nobody here cares if you predicted that 1+1=2 or your opinion for that matter. the fact that it came from you we immediately discard any value of your opinion.

      • patthehockeyfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Here’s the thing. You are giving joey exactly what he craves … attention. He appears to live for the back-and-forth commenting, and you’re feeding right into it. Stop feeding and maybe it will go away.

      • joey4id - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        Here’s the thing, guys. I couldn’t care less whether or not you respond to any of my comments. I post here because I believe hockey is the best team sport there is. I have an opinion and I post it. Whether you reply or not to my comment will not change how active I am. Matter of fact, though it is your right to use the reply button, I prefer you don’t if you’re going to post meaningless comments about me. It’s boring, and getting old. If you have nothing to offer with respect to the topic, then just move on. Resist replying to my comment.

      • joey4id - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        “I don’t care what you do with your time.”bcsteele – Mar 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        Then ignore me. I’ve had enough love that being ignored will not bother me.

        trust me.

    • skr213 - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      What kind of person feels such an insatiable need to “prove themselves right” constantly? Man, I don’t know whether to rag on you or just feel bad for you.

      • joey4id - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        What kind of person even cares.

    • machosasquatcho - Mar 13, 2014 at 12:26 AM

      You guys realize that patthehockeyfan and joey4id are the same person, right? this is just another iteration of blomfeld talking to itself.

      blomfeld/joey: your comments add nothing to any discussion ever. Reading them is like watching a chimp smell its own asshole. No one cares what Canucks headlines you gleaned and synthesized into what you call an opinion but is in fact a mixture of generalization and speculation that any moron could spew out.

  8. hammerhead5573 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Joey don’t hurt your arm patting yourself on the back.

    • JoeAvg - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      Sorry to call you call you out Joey and I often agree with your posts but hammerhead’s right. Those who really know what they’re talking about don’t have to point it out to others – it’s just realized.

      Life 101.

  9. oldschoolisbetter - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Tortorella is hardly the problem. They got rid of Schneider, and THEN got rid of Luongo’s contract, and these are stupid moves (as is leaving Lack as your #1) that kill a hockey team. No doubt Tortorella was told to make Lack the starter for the Heritage Classic by ownership, because they finally had a deal for Luongo, and Tortorella is responsible for NONE of those stupid moves. As well, the Sedins aren’t scoring. The whole TEAM hasn’t been scoring. Gillis is a terrible GM. Terrible. They will probably fire Tortorella, and I hope they have to pay through the nose for him. Ownership and Gillis deserve all the crap they help create.

  10. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Vancouver owners need to wake up.

    What is Tortorella (or even Vigneault) supposed to do when the GM keeps poking more holes into an already sinking ship? Not that Torts shouldn’t be fired too, but if Gillis survives while another coach gets canned, then Vancouver’s owners deserve whatever bad things they have coming.

    The team needs to rebuild, but letting Gillis trade Kesler, the Sedins or anything else of value the team has left would be a mistake.

  11. pigpen1013 - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    I think the Canucks need to stop hiring American coaches that have been cast off by the Rangers. Torts has worked out about as well as Keenan to this point.

    • nightfireop - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      not even the french canadians can save the nucks from their sins.

  12. hosewater2 - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Maybe the Devils would just trade Schneider back for Horvat?

  13. crazemastercraze - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Joey is a flyers fan. Which means he’s schizophrenic

  14. penguins87and71 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Tortorella needs to be fired, for the Canucks to move forward. It was a terrible idea to hire him in the first place! The Canucks look like they have been in shambles since Tortorella became the head coach. Seriously who would want to play for this guy?!?

  15. 7mantel - Mar 12, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Is your dislike of Tortorella due to the fact he called out 87 and 71 ?

  16. jason9696 - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I don’t know if Torts has lost the room or not. But I’m sure that Mike Gillis has pretty much lost the majority of Canuck fans.

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