Not that today’s news comes as a surprise at this point, but the Canucks have officially announced that John Tortorella will take over as Vancouver’s head coach. The Canucks have rolled out the Tortorella hire with an instagram photo, an exclusive interview of Tortorella, and an e-mail from Mike Gillis to season ticket holders. John Tortorella will take part in an on-line question and answer session over at youtube.com/canucks (the Q and A will be governed by the "#asktorts" hashtag) at 11am PST, and Tortorella will then field questions from the media at 1pm. What’s the over/under on how many times Tortorella emphatically demands: "next question" today?
Read past the jump.
I find pretty interesting, and massively clever, that the team is rolling out the controversial head coach – the guy with the reputation for being a bit of an unhelpful bully with the media – with not one, but two seperate question-and-answer sessions on Tuesday. It’s important to note that the first of those sessions will involve the fans directly.
Essentially the Canucks are giving Tortorella a chance to make a first impression with the fanbase independent of the usual media filtered lens. In some ways that serves to diffuse some of the hoopla of Tortorella’s first Vancouver newser, and it’s also a good way to get out in front of, and control as best you can, the conversation that will inevitably surround Tortorella’s media-unfriendly reputation…
Finally, here’s the full text of Mike Gillis’s e-mail to season ticket holders announcing the Tortorella hire:
"I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve just named John Tortorella as our new head coach. It’s a great day for our organization, and I’m confident that this change will make an immediate and significant impact on the team.
Over the last several weeks, we have looked at every possible option for this role and we met with several exceptional candidates. We approached the process with completely open minds but with a very clear view of what we need to accomplish. As I said at the end of the season, we are an organization that’s committed to doing everything possible to win, from ownership down. I feel John gives us the best opportunity to accomplish that goal.
John knows how to win. He’s won the Calder Cup and the Stanley Cup and has been very successful with a broad range of players and teams. Beyond John’s tremendous skill, insight and experience, he will be a great fit in terms of his values and work ethic. Off the ice, John and his wife have done inspiring work through the John and Christine Tortorella Family Foundation and he’s been a champion and a support for many people in need. John is also extremely excited about our players, our organization, our fans and our community.
As a first introduction to John, we will be hosting a live online interview later this morning. Please tune in to canucks.com to get to know our new coach a little better.
Thank you for all your interest and we hope you give John and Christine a warm welcome to Vancouver and Rogers Arena in the coming year."