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To fire Torts, or not to fire Torts — that is now the question for Linden

Apr 9, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

Vancouver Canucks Announce Trevor Linden As President Hockey Operations Getty Images

Trevor Linden has a lot to do. Today at a press conference announcing his new role as the Vancouver Canucks’ president of hockey operations, he said he probably wouldn’t be home much in the next little while.

Indeed, he has quite the mess to clean up, with patience in short supply among a frustrated fan base that pays some of the highest ticket prices in the NHL.

Linden — the former team captain, and perhaps the most popular figure in franchise history — will meet with the players and coaching staff next week, after the Canucks’ regular season is over. There will be no playoffs for the first time since 2008 in Vancouver.

Linden said he’d like to hire a new general manager, to replace the fired Mike Gillis, by mid-June at the latest, and preferably the beginning of that month. The draft is at the end of the June.

It’s not clear if head coach John Tortorella will still be with the club at that time. Linden, according to owner Francesco Aquilini, has the authority to make all hockey-related decisions. If that’s the case, Linden could fire Tortorella right now. Or, he could wait until the end of the season. Or, he could wait until he hires a GM and the decision could be made in tandem on the current coach’s future.

“Any sort of coaching decision will be made in due time after thorough evaluation,” Linden said, leaving the timeline fairly open.

Meanwhile, Aquilini told reporters that the deadline to renew season tickets has been extended in order to give fans time to decide if they like the organization’s new direction. Which begs the question — if you were a waffling season-ticket holder, wouldn’t you want to know if Tortorella will be back before you make the call to renew?

The consensus — at least among the media — is that Tortorella will not be back. That said, he’s still owed a lot of money on his contract, and it was less than a year ago that ownership liked him plenty.

  1. muckleflugga - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    farewell and adieu to you, spanish Ladies,
    farewell and adieu to you, ladies of spain

    take the money and run john

  2. billiam55 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    if i was torts id just leave. no respect at all

    • imleftcoast - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      After the Calgary fiasco, I’d try to nullify his contract.

  3. patthehockeyfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    To fire, or not to fire, that is the question
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    the slings and arrows of outraged fans,
    Or to take action against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep
    no more; and by a sleep, to say we end
    the heartache, and the thousand unnatural shocks
    this season has brought upon us.

    Fare thee well, John Tortorella

  4. ibieiniid - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    I hope he gets fired, hired elsewhere…. then fired again. I love seeing that man fail.

    (How can I sleep at night wishing joblessness on a man? He’ll still probably bring in 10x the paycheck I do)

    • stakex - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Not only does he make far more money they you do…. he also has something else you don’t: A Stanley Cup championship. No matter how much he might fail in the future, he still achieved the pinnacle of a hockey career.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:08 AM

        all the more reason to root for his demise. MUAHAHAHA

  5. joey4id - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    I think the player interviews, though a formality, will seal the fate of Torts. The sooner they let him go, the sooner he can start planning his next career move. This will clear the way for the new GM when he his hired to hit the ground running in his search for a new bench boss. They don’t need a coach before the draft, but it should be a priority to hire a GM so he can start working with the the amateur scouts to prepare for the draft. Though ideal, it’s no big deal if the coach is not there for the draft. Additionally, it wouldn’t surprise me if Linden hires a VP/consultant with experience to help him threw the growing pains associated with his new job.

    • kaptaanamerica - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      spelling fail

      • 19inarow - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Look who’s talking.

      • kaptaanamerica - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        uh, actually my username is spelled correctly… if you are “in the know”

  6. muckleflugga - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    less kindly pat …

    be that word our sign of parting, fish or fiend shrieked upstarting

    get thee back into the tempest and the night’s plutonian shore

    leave no black fin as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken
    leave my loneliness unbroken quit the banner above my door

    take thy tooth from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door

    quoth the orca, nevermore

  7. nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Torts took a team that while in the playoffs 5 straight seasons, was trending down in points percentage.
    2011… .713
    2012… .677
    2013… .615
    And is bringing them home at .513.
    That would not fill me with confidence that he’s the guy to turn that around. Yeah, lots of other factors. Nonetheless.

  8. elvispocomo - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    If you’re a waffling season ticket holder, be aware there are still people behind you in the waiting line for season tickets – particularly now that Linden has been announced as president – that will gladly take your place. That line isn’t going to get shorter if they replace Torts either.

    • kitshky - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Not to mention that the actual deadline (to cancel the purchase for a full refund) isn’t until after July 1st so it’s not exactly like there’s any real urgency.

      • elvispocomo - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        I actually don’t think they extended the deadline that far, just gave STHs the option of a refund if they had already purchased their tickets for net year but decided against it later.

  9. govtminion - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    It’s not a question of whether to fire Torts. It’s whether to fire him out of a cannon or a catapult on his way out.

    I’m all for the cannon, personally, but to me it’s all about the spectacle of the thing anyway.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:50 PM


      • imleftcoast - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Agreed. Fire him or set him on fire?

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:12 PM


        first one, then the other

      • kaptaanamerica - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:43 PM


      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        Indeed, kaptaan. Indeed we are.

  10. heynyc61 - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    If you are loyal you don’t dump your team becauSe of some trouble.

    • govtminion - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      No argument, but take it from a longtime Bruins fan- just because you still support your team through the bad times (remember how awful they were back when they made the Thornton trade?) doesn’t mean you blindly ignore incompetence. A real fan supports his team no matter what… and makes their voice heard when there’s problems. It goes without saying that the Gillis/Tortorella show this year has been a mess- glad Vancouver fans were willing to speak up to let ownership know that his customers were pretty unhappy.

      • kaptaanamerica - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        Bruins/ Chicago/ Pittsburgh/ Canucks/ Habs fans showed the league how it is done by normal humans. cult followers don’t have the same logic. just look at the most failing organization in probably all of north american sports to see which fan base is totally irrational in its support of failure. you’ll find that organization mints money and never lives up to even minimal expectations.

      • govtminion - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:53 PM

        What do the Cleveland Browns have to do with this? 😉

  11. hockeyflow33 - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    This is a question? Seriously?

  12. purpleguy - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    So everyone’s literary today huh? How about this:

    Roses are red, violets are blue,

    they’re gonna fire Torts.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      LOL!!! It doesn’t rhyme; but, Shakespeare wasn’t big on rhyming either. :)

    • micasa81 - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      Many thumbs up.

  13. tdrusher225 - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    This is no question. This is not right guy to start fresh with and, honestly, I don’t think he wants to be there either.

  14. pigpen1013 - Apr 9, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    PurpleGuy wins the prize.

  15. macjacmccoy - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Tortorella gets less out of his players then any coach over the last 6-7 years imo. He had stacked teams in NY and this year in Van and did absolutely nothing with them. He is like the NHL’s Mike Singletary.

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