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Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Imag / PNG

John Stevens was a favourite as Vancouver Canucks head coach when club hired John Tortorella

The Vancouver Canucks nearly had another John behind the bench in 2013.

While the club hired John Tortorella in 2013, John Stevens was reportedly a favourite to be hired, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Thursday.

This might actually be a coincidence, but when John Tortorella was hired in Vancouver, John Stevens was very high on Mike Gillis’s list.

At the time, Steven’s had been wrapping up his 16th year working behind the benches as an assistant and head coach in both the AHL and NHL. Stevens had spent the three years prior as an assistant with the Kings, and spent another five there before being hired as a head coach with the Dallas Stars. Stevens has amassed a 171-148-43 record as a head coach in the regular season going 11-16 in the playoffs.

As we all know, the Torts era in Vancouver was very short lasting only 82 games. With him behind the bench in 2013-14, the Canucks went 36-35-15 and was mired with controversy.

He had the infamous incident on Jan. 18, 2014 when he tried to storm the Calgary Flames locker room to confront their coach Bob Hartley. And not even two months later, he started Eddie Lack over Roberto Luongo in the 2014 Heritage Classic two days before Luongo was traded.

Tortorella was fired at the end of the season after the club missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

On Twitter: @zjlaing