It’s official. What could either be a great move or the Canucks worst nightmare is now a reality.
John Tortorella has been named the 17th head coach in franchise history. He received a 5 year contract and is the first American (also first non-Canadian) Canucks head coach.
There are a lot of perceptions of Tortorella, some good and some not so good.
He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 so he is a proven winner. While he does preach a more defensive, shot blocking style of play, he’s capable of making the switch to a more up-tempo style.
He also used the motto “Safe is Death” with the Lightning which could suit the Canucks well. As a team that struggled to score and sat back after getting leads the last couple years, Tortorella could bring the fire back to an overall disinterested squad.
The guy has a very short fuse. In the past, when he’s gotten angry with the media, he’s ended up on SportsCentre for all the wrong reasons.
In particular, Tortorella sparred with one member of the New York media, Larry Brooks, better known as “Brooksie” all too often.
This begs the question: Who will be the “Brooksie” of Vancouver media?
His relationships with some of his players has been spotty at best, most notably Marian Gaborik, who struggled mightily under Tortorella’s system and was dealt before the trade deadline.
Remind you of anyone Canucks fans? (*cough* Mike Keenan *cough* Trevor Linden *cough*).
When I first heard Gillis was interviewing Torts, I thought it was a last case scenario and just the GM doing his due diligence. But, as time went on, I warmed to the idea.
To be blunt, the Canucks have not shown up in the playoffs the last two years. Torts will help in that department.
He will demand the best out of every single one of his players night in and night out and will never elect to play it safe.
And with the Canucks facing tougher competition within their division next season, they will need to play better in the regular season than they have in past years.
This is a risky hire by Gillis. Torts is a loose cannon and is not afraid to call out his own players.
I hope he does otherwise it’ll be a long five years.