John Tortorella 2013The Vancouver Canucks announced yesterday that they have hired American-born John Tortorella as the NHL club’s new head coach.

Tortorella lost his previous job with the New York Rangers after they were eliminated from this year’s postseason in five games by the Boston Bruins in the second round. The Canucks also fired their former coach Alain Vigneault after being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks.

Tortorella was brought in as his replacement and has inked a five-year deal with the Western Conference club. Ironically, Vigneault was hired by the Rangers as Tortorella’s replacement on June 21.

Tortorella’s job will be to get the Canucks past the first round of the playoffs after two consecutive seasons of losing in the opening series. Tortorella told the press that he’s made mistakes over the years, but has learned from them and is fully committed to improving the Canucks as a team and to forging a better relationship with the media.

There’s no doubt the controversial Tortorella knows how to coach at the NHL level, as he has won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning back in the 2003-04 season. He has also been honored with the Jack Adams Award as the Coach of the Year. He was also an assistant coach with the silver-medal winning American team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Tortorella has compiled a record of 410-330-37-67 during his NHL career and led the Rangers to the playoffs in each of his last three seasons there. However, Tortorella is known as a controversial figure in the NHL due to his strained relationship with the press and his bizarre comments about players.

He defended his actions by saying he hates to lose and that’s why he sometimes blows up in public. He admitted that his words aren’t always carefully chosen and he’s said some things about his own players that he now regrets. The new coach said it’ll take some time for him to get to know the individual Canuck players, but he expects them to have more bite next season.

He said he plans to develop the team’s younger players and is looking forward to the upcoming NHL Draft as a way to add some depth to the squad. Basically, Tortorella claimed he’ll be pushing the players to produce more this season, but he also plans on treating the players fairly. He plans on using his best players in all situations, such as playing leading scorers Henrik and Daniel Sedin when the club’s shorthanded.

There will likely be other changes to the style of game Vancouver fans have grown accustomed to over the past few seasons. Tortorella likes his team to collapse down low in the defensive end with all five players protecting the front of the net and blocking shots.

He has five years to turn the team’s fortunes around, but it’s doubtful he’ll see the end of his contract if he doesn’t improve the team after the first two years.


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!