Jun 20, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT
The Vancouver Canucks still don’t have a head coach hired for next season. But whether it’s Willie Desjardins, Mike Johnston, Marc Crawford, or any other candidate behind the bench next season, president of hockey operations Trevor Linden says he’ll need to do a better job of stoking the players’ enthusiasm than John Tortorella did last season.
“I think we’re looking for someone who can recapture our people who were so off last year,” Linden said this morning on TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver (audio).
“I think, in doing that, you need to sell a program that guys can get excited about, and want to be a part of. I think the lack of excitement showed up in our play last year. It kind of permeated in all areas of the club.
“Certainly, you want someone who can get guys excited about what they’re doing, and excited about the style of play.”
That theme is not unique to Vancouver’s situation. The Nashville Predators, for example, hired Peter Laviolette to replace Barry Trotz in part because general manager David Poile thought a more “fun way to play” might strike a chord with his players.
Now, granted, the Canucks didn’t just miss the playoffs because Tortorella’s hockey philosophy didn’t mesh with the roster. Ditto for the Preds and Trotz. But remember that NHL teams are also in the entertainment business, and exciting, free-flowing hockey is a heck of a lot easier to sell than “slow” hockey.
When Tortorella was fired, Linden wrote in a note to season-ticket holders that he was “committed to making it exciting to watch Canucks games throughout the season,” and that he wants to “put a team on the ice that creates buzz and anticipation in the city on game days.”
That’s what the Canucks used to do a short time ago, when they not only won a lot of games, they played an up-tempo style that was pleasing to watch.
Whether they still have the personnel to win that way is a major question for Linden and new general manager Jim Benning. Clearly, though, the Canucks are hoping to kill two birds with one stone with whoever they hire as coach: Stop losing. And stop losing ugly.
- Blues say Center for Disease Control hasn’t been to Scottrade, don’t plan on it coming 0
- Agent: Vanek was not ‘involved’ in money laundering 3
- Even after big changes, Isles still struggling defensively 10
- Back to junior: Sabres return Reinhart to WHL Kootenay 2
- Report: Phone hearing for Burrows, who says hit on Emelin wasn’t late 32
- Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated) 12
- Report: Thomas Vanek involved in money laundering scandal 35
- Video: Devils (finally) win a shootout 4
- Video: Lucic and Stewart drop the gloves 24
- Blues lose Backes, Oshie indefinitely to concussions 5
- Video: John Moore with an elbow to the head of Erik Haula (Updated) (62)
- Report: Varlamov being sued by ex-girlfriend (47)
- Kreider calls Brodin hit a ‘bang-bang play,’ doesn’t plan to dramatically change his game (45)
- No hearing scheduled for Kreider after Brodin hit (44)
- Kopitar out, Lombardi irate as Kings will play shorthanded vs. Flyers (40)