The Vancouver Canucks have hired former New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella.
UPDATE: Tuesday, June 25, at 4:29 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch provides details on Tortorealla's contract:
John Tortorella gets a five-year deal in Vancouver. Wow.— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) June 25, 2013
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UPDATE: Tuesday, June 25, at 12:05 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
The Vancouver Canucks have made it official and made John Tortorella their next head coach.
Tortorella spoke to the team website about his approach as he takes the helm following a disappointing end to his tenure in New York.
“I think it’s come to the point with me,” said Tortorella, “where I’m kind of being defined as ‘that lunatic,’ not only on the bench, but also after games with media. I don’t want to be defined that way, but I do make my own bed in that type of situation and I need to make some corrections, I need to make some adjustments in that part of it.
“I’m dealing with an older team here, as I look at the roster, I think I need to respect the older players and some of the processes they’ve gone through and make adjustments with myself as far as how I handle them.”
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UPDATE: Monday, June 24, at 3:10 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Sportsnet's John Shannon has the latest on John Tortorella and the Canucks.
The Vancouver Canucks will officially announce John Tortorella as Head Coach tomorrow.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 24, 2013
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The 54-year-old spent four-plus seasons with the Rangers, taking over three-quarters of the way through the 2008-09 season. He's always been known for his hard-line, sarcastic personality, especially to the media.
In his first full season in charge, New York posted 87 points, good for fourth place in the Atlantic division. The Rangers placed third in the division in 2010-11 with 93 points.
The 2011-12 campaign marked a breakthrough, as New York posted 109 points to claim the Atlantic division. After a long run in the playoffs, the Rangers fell to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference finals.
This season, the Rangers racked up 56 points over a shortened 48-game schedule—good for second place in the Atlantic—but ended up falling to the Boston Bruins in the second round of the playoffs.
Would this be a good hire for the Canucks?
As for the Canucks, they captured the Northwest division this season with 59 points. But after failing to win the title, despite six playoff appearances in seven years under head coach Alain Vigneault, Vigneault was fired after Vancouver was eliminated in the first round. During that span, the Canucks failed to get past the second round of the playoffs five times. They lost to the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup final.
It's going to be interesting to see what Tortorella can do with a change of scenery in Vancouver. The Rangers looked strong under Tortorella for the most part but never were able to get over that proverbial hump.
Ironically enough, Vigneault was the new hire for the Rangers this summer. Funny how things work out sometimes.