And because Friday needed more news from the coaching department, there are multiple reports coming out of Vancouver that former New York Rangers coach John Tortorella is set to be named the next head coach of the Canucks.
Of course, we all know that Alain Vigneault was formally named the head coach of Tortorella’s former club today.
Tortorella is in Vancouver, having arrived at the airport Friday, but the franchise insists that no decision has been reached as of yet.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on the Team 1040 on Friday and he indicated that Tortorella was indeed a “strong candidate” for the position. The club was hoping to make its decision in relatively short order. “John’s certainly in the mix and very strong, so we’re going to finish off the process the way we designed it initially and that shouldn’t take us much longer,” said Gillis.
To add more fuel to the fire, the Winnipeg Free Press has reported that Tortorella has indeed been offered the coaching position by the Canucks. It should only be a matter of time before a formal announcement is made, which would be interesting timing considering what went down today in New York.
Torts would be a unique choice for the offensively-minded Canucks, but the reactionary organization (and fanbase) may be moving in a sharply new direction after a couple years of playoff disappointment.
The fiery coach’s preference for shot-blocking and defensive play has been well-documented, but does it really fit a team used to rushing the puck up ice and making plays on the fly? After all, Tortorella’s the guy that benched Brad Richards (some say for good reason) and ran Marian Gaborik out of town. The Sedin twins, who are tougher than many xenophobic and ignorant fans might have you believe (seriously, some soft-headed misogynists still actually call them the “Sedin sisters”), were actually lobbying for the guy – but how will they fare with his coaching style?
Tortorella also likes to lean on goaltending, but, with Vancouver also eager to rid their club of Roberto Luongo, how will that work out?
Obviously the potential hiring of Tortorella produces a lot of questions. Gillis’ offensive preferences may have to be pushed aside on this one and the coaching decision may have been more a matter of ownership than leadership, but only time will tell how this all plays out.
Is John Tortorella the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks? Probably. Should he be? That’s another question altogether.