Welcome to Vancouver, Mr. Tortorella

Thomas Drance
June 21 2013 03:13PM

Will John Tortorella work out in Vancouver? Is he precisely the sort of hard driving, bombastic motviator the Canucks need to get them over the hump? Or will he alienate a veteran team? 

I have no godly idea, but one thing is for certain: this is going to be an incredible gong show. In fact it already is.

Read past the jump.

John Tortorella arrived at YVR this afternoon and was greeted by a throng of Vancouver media (including our own Patrick Johnston). With Canucks employees and security in attendance, Tortorella was walked out of a side door at Vancouver International Airport and loaded into a black escalade without answering any questions:

You can watch video of John Tortorella strolling through the Vancouver airport here, courtesy Matt Lee.

Once again we had a man on the ground at YVR too, so we won't get too sanctimonious about this, but I think Mike Martinago pretty much nailed it:

John Tortorella's interactions with the media will be a major story line going forward, and that's already been demonstrated in the handful of hours since Gary Lawless first reported that a deal between Tortorella and the Canucks was close.

Tony Gallagher pretty much suggested in his take on the reported hire that Tortorella has been told to tone it down by Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis:

During the first interview, Gillis and Tortorella not surprisingly discussed the coach's goofy relationship with the media in New York and clearly both parties agreed that unless the coach changed his style it would be a complete circus here. So one would expect a completely different, more laid back Tortorella when he faces the media, at least until the stress of a season builds.

Gallagher's colleague Ed Wiles meanwhile wasted no time brandishing his kitchen knife and absolutely carving Tortorella and the organization as a whole over the reported hire.

Mike Gillis will join the Team 1040 for an interview at 3:15 PM PST, presumably to offer the world's most tepid denial of the Gary Lawless report (which has now been corroborated by a wide variety of sources).

In other words, we're T-Minus one-hundred-and-eighty minutes into the John Tortorella era in Vancouver, and already the absurdities are multiplying exponentially. So yeah, welcome to Vancouver, Mr. Tortorella.

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 BrudnySeaby
June 21 2013, 03:55PM
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If it is true that he will be the next head coach then that represents an awful decision by Gillis. He picks brawl over brains with his choice for Tortorella instead of Stevens. Stevens reportedly has a real cerebral approach to the game of hockey. Guess what? So do 2 of the most important players on our team. Actually, make that 3 as Schneider qualifies next to the Sedins. So instead of amplifying that aspect of our team he goes the other way.

I think the most overrated comment about Torts is him bing a motivator. Really? Who would think that the Sedins need extra motivation? These are some of the most dedicated players in the game. And besides, shouldn't motivation to win be an intrinsic trait in an athlete!?

Another aspect of a Tortorella hiring that I have not heard being discussed to this day, and which is vital for the Canucks right now, is do players want to play for him? If his reputation as a coach is bad, which free agents will be delighted at the prospect of playing under him for the Canucks? So good luck with luring some quality UFA's to Vancouver!

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#2 Nat
June 21 2013, 04:22PM
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That video of Torts at the airport is hilarious. You'd think it was Brad Pitt, with the frenzy of activity.

This is going to be great. :) (From an entertainment perspective anyways, not so sure about actual wins/losses)

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#3 Nat
June 21 2013, 04:24PM
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@BrudnySeaby

Canucks Army's own Jeff Angus said that the Sedins actually pushed for Torts to be hired. So he has at least 2 supporters.

I'd love to hear the story behind that though. Very interesting.

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#4 BrudnySeaby
June 21 2013, 04:36PM
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@ Nat. Yeah, I just read that piece, but of course after I just wrote the above comments. Yeah, interesting angle reported by Jeff Angus (and no reason at all to doubt him!). Very interesting indeed. Well, maybe they are looking for a more active coaching voice that will actually come into the room during the games and be very vocal, so it will fall less upon them (to call out team mates etc.).

Ha, it will be interesting in an entertainment kind of way at least. AV was very sleep inducing!

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#5 JCDavies
June 21 2013, 05:03PM
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@BrudnySeaby

The sentiment on twitter is that this was Aquilini's decision and not Gillis'.

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#6 BrudnySeaby
June 21 2013, 05:38PM
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@ JCDavies. If that is the case Aquilini should have just fired Gillis. What is the point of having a GM if he is not the one making the decisions? Hmm, come to think of it, if I were Gillis and this was the case, I would resign. Because I would be stuck in a no-win situation.

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#7 JCDavies
June 21 2013, 06:00PM
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@BrudnySeaby

I agree with all of that.

I will stress that I don't really have a solid source to back up the tweets I'm seeing (though someone said Botchford had it well documented). Perhaps Thomas, or someone else, could elaborate further.

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#8 Forgotten Puck
June 21 2013, 10:13PM
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@BrudnySeaby

The Sedins do need motivation or a wack in the ass, they havent done anything in the post season, and I got no sympathy for hurt feelings of over paid multi millionaire players.

Also, it is not a question of do the players want to play for him, he's the coach, the coach runs the team, not the inmates in the asylum. I hear so much talk about how the coach will fit in for the Canucks. It sounds like the Canucks have won 40 Cups and Torts is about to destroy that roll. Dont want to sound sarcastic but I got news for all the fans that insist on " babying" this team....this team hasnt got anything to worry about losing because they havent wont anything...ever.

It's as if ppl make it sound like the Canucks are some kind of winning dynasty and Torts is coming in here to destroy it. Torts has won a cup, and that on a resume says alot better than 2 presidents trophies and humiliation in the play offs. Speaking of humiliation, AV is never going to amount to anything in the post season with the Rangers. And if he does get somewhere, it's because the teams he's got now is more complete than what's left of the one he left. Just watch AV's locker room disintegrate into a Canucks style country club. AV wont last more than 5 years there. Torts may fail here, and if he does, watch the fans blame him for everything, chances are, there isnt much he can do with what Gillis has mismanaged. I look forward to him benching a few country club so called stars here.

Hey, sweet words and honey never got this club anywhere, it's time for the whip. Whip it, Torts, whip 'em good.

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#9 24Roughing
June 21 2013, 10:17PM
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@JCDavies

If Gillis made any decision, it would be only to find a coach to save his own back side. Fortunately, the owner isnt all that stupid as we have been led to believe. Rich business men are drawn to success, not failure.

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#10 gussey
June 22 2013, 10:22PM
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From a flames fan, this reminds me of when we hired keenan in 07. Veteran team that the gm thought needed a hardcore coach to get them over the top. And that was the beginning of the end for us. I think this is a huge mistake for you guys.

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