Gillis Speaks: Hiring a Coach (Probably Tortorella) "Shouldn't take us much longer"

Thomas Drance
June 21 2013 05:13PM

To cap a zany day - one that started with Vancouver's former coach being introduced in New York and culminated with New York's former coach (and rumoured Canucks coach-elect) John Tortorella being mobbed at the airport by Vancouver sports reporters - Mike Gillis joined BMac and Taylor on the Team1040.

The Canucks General Manager avoided confirming reports that John Tortorella is his choice to be Vancouver's bench boss, but he didn't deny it outright either. Based on Gillis's non-denial, the multiple sources reporting that Tortorella is the guy, and absent reports of John Stevens rushing to Vancouver for a last minute summit with Canucks brass - I think we can say with some, but not complete, confidence that John Tortorella will be the seventeenth head coach in Canucks history. Which raises a variety of pertinent questions...

Read on past the jump.

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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.

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Five Critical Questions Concerning the John Tortorella Hire

Thomas Drance
June 21 2013 01:42PM

John Tortorella is a pretty unique figure in the professional hockey industry. A taskmaster in an age of coddled multimillionaire professional athletes, and a guy with no time for the media in an age where information travels quickly, and where personal relationships shape coverage (arguably to an undue extent).

With the news breaking on Friday that the Canucks are reportedly close to hiring John Tortorella as their new head coach, there's five big questions that we have about the Tortorella hire. Read on past the jump.

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Report: Canucks "Close to a Deal" to hire John Tortorella as Head Coach

Thomas Drance
June 21 2013 11:54AM

According to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press, the Vancouver Canucks have "offered" the club's vacant head coaching position to John Tortorella and are "close to a deal" that would bring the controversial firebrand to the west coast. John Tortorella was fired by the New York Rangers after his teams second round ouster this past spring, and he was replaced in New York by recently fired Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault who met with the media today.

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On Vigneault's Press Conference and the Prospect of a "Coaching Swap"

Thomas Drance
June 21 2013 11:16AM

Alain Vigneault introduced in a press conference in New York on Friday.

On Friday, as divisive former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault prepared to give his first full press conference since his final game coaching Vancouver's club in early May, news broke out of Phoenix that Dave Tippett has signed a long-term contract extension and the Stars made their decision to hire Lindy Ruff official. So that means that, as of today, the Canucks are the last show in town on the "coaching vacancy front" and there appear to be three serious candidates left in the running in Scott Arniel, John Stevens, and John Tortorella.

With dream candidates Dan Bylsma and Dave Tippett remaining in place, and Lindy Ruff, Dallas Eakins, Patrick Roy and Vancouver's most recent head coach hired elsewhere, the cards are now all on the table. There's no obvious reason for the Canucks to wait and see any longer, so perhaps a decision on a new head coach will be forthcoming in short order. (Update: NHL sources are telling Gary Lawless than the Canucks have already offered the position to John Tortorella). Or maybe we'll wait another week because, after all, this is the Canucks we're talking about.

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