Spitballin’ on Tortorella in Vancouver, Breaking the Ice, and Cory Schneider’s wedding

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass ITBulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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John Tortorella to the Canucks?

Ever since he was spotted in Vancouver during his trip out West to be interviewed for the Canucks’ vacant coaching position, rumours have swirled that John Tortorella could seriously be named as Alain Vigneault’s replacement.

Early reaction suggests people aren’t into that, and for good reason. Obviously, if he implements the same system he employed in New York — which was half throwing his players in front of pucks and half throwing them under buses — it’s probably not an ideal match. It’s hard to get much more than groans out of a group of players when you’re breaking their hearts and bones.

But that’s not Tortorella’s only approach. In Tampa Bay, he was as offensive a coach as we’ve seen in the last 10 years. His “safe is death” mantra led to some serious firewagon hockey, and rather than alienating his stars, he played the crap out of them. In other words, don’t assume Tortorella to Vancouver means the 2013 New York Rangers to Vancouver. He works with what he has, and the Canucks’ roster is a very different beast than the Rangers’ roster.

From a comedy perspective, we’re fully onboard the Tortorella train. Tortorella’s battles with the media would be hilarious and legendary. And, as Thomas Drance pointed out earlier today, he would up Vancouver’s “hot dad” quotient exponentially.

Reminder: Kathy Anderson is fantastic

Speaking of comedy, there wasn’t a whole lot to be mined from the 2013 season, what with the whole thing tainted by the lockout, every game mattering twice as much because there were half as many of them, and Vancouver fans in no mood to laugh when it cut into their time hating Alain Vigneault and ruing last year’s early postseason exit.

But at least we had the first season of Kathy Anderson’s ”Breaking the Ice” series, which was downright fantastic.

Last week, the Canucks released a short “Year in Review”, which compiles some of the best moments from Year 1. You should watch it.

Zack Kassian studying the suit Don Cherry made for him for way, way, way too long will never not be funny.

Ryan Kesler: the best 23rd pick in NHL history

Over at NHL.com, their scribes are counting down the best draft picks in NHL history, based on selection number. At number 23, from your Vancouver Canucks, Ryan Kesler.

But don’t get too excited. Kesler’s only real competition at that spot was Todd Bertuzzi.

Cory Schneider wears a Grizzlies hat, talks wedding plans

Skype is a useful tool. It can be used to fire a coach, for instance. Or it can be used to conduct an interview with Cory Schneider, who’s home in Boston, unwinding and planning a wedding (which sounds like the worst way to unwind).

The interview doesn’t provide a whole lot of new information, save for a few tidbits about said wedding, if you’re into that. And, sadly, nobody suggest that, with his hair colour, they should call it a Red Wedding. But Schneider is his usual charming, amusing self, and his banter with Mitch Berger is pretty great.

Also, Schneider gets a million points for wearing a Vancouver Grizzlies hat. ”There’s this great thing called the Inernet now where you can get anything you want,” he says.

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12 comments

  1. Sonia
    June 13, 2013

    I can’t stand that male interviewer on any of their segments but his little story about when he bought the Schneider jersey just proves why I dislike him. “I’m done with this Luongo guy”, then he buys the Schneider jersey and then goes around the arena protesting Luongo? Go away.

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    Rating: +14 (from 18 votes)
    • Jeannette
      June 13, 2013

      I agree, I was thinking what an idiot…

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      Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  2. mb13
    June 13, 2013

    I hope the Canucks hire Tortorella only because nobody wants him to be here.

    Problem with his system being boring. Guess what. Winning takes sacrifice from players and, perhaps, fans. I guess Vancouver fans are more interested in entertainment than their team winning.

    Then the media is already rooting for him not to get the job. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I love it. Since when do the media think they have any say or their relationship with the coach should matter. His job is to coach a team – not answer your stupid questions so you can have your article written on time.

    Finally – I hope Tortorella is hired because the players don’t think they need a whipmaster. Maybe Kessler woudl worry more about his play than photobombing or Bieksa would not pretend to be Kessler in an interview because… you know…they’d be worried about their one-ice performance.

    Tortorella is exactly what this team needs. Someone who isn’t scared to speak his mind (or not speak it) and someone who isn’t scared to alienate the players. I get the impression that the inmates run the asylum in Vancouver. Maybe that why they can’t win in the playoffs.

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    • Dave
      June 13, 2013

      If his job is to coach a team and not answer stupid questions, he would probably still be with the Rangers. I may have been a little late with this comment but at least you got your one in on time.

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      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
    • Smokey
      June 13, 2013

      “Since when do the media think they have any say or their relationship with the coach should matter?”

      Ha, that’s a good one. Since when have they NOT thought that?

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      Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  3. scott welsh
    June 13, 2013

    so Mitch Berger is basically describing being a bandwagoner & switching bandwagons during a game & not just any game but game 7 of a SCF…. what a god damn hack!!!!

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  4. JanBan
    June 13, 2013

    I’m actually quite content with the Canucks’ ‘hot dad’ quota right now.

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    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
  5. kevbo
    June 13, 2013

    stay gold Kass, stay gold…

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  6. Smokey
    June 13, 2013

    Tortorella is exactly what Vancouver needs, it’s time to put all these media hacks on notice! For Torts, it’ll be a walk in the park after NYC. The Gallaghers and Botchfords and their ilk will finally get what’s coming to them! I so hope this happens.

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    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  7. akidd
    June 14, 2013

    gillis is just setting up a little media, fan and player relief when he announces the next coach of the team. we’ll think he’s brilliant for not hiring tortorella . “I love how stevens/arniel/ larry’s uncle isn’t tortorella. what a genius, that gillis!” we shall say. i know i’ll say a couple of ‘hail Jah’s’ .

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  8. bergberg
    June 14, 2013

    I gotta say, I’m actually on board with a Tortorella hiring for a lot of the same reasons mb13 stated above.

    Tortorella has coached teams to win with both excellent offense and defense depending on what he was given. Quite frankly, after last season I think the Canuck’s need improvements in both of those areas.

    I did like AV, but by the end I think the system was stuck – the players knew what their roles were and knew that no matter how they played that wasn’t going to change. So I thought ‘great!’ when they let him go, because that meant that the players would have to show up to training camp and prove their worth again. Tortorella has shown that he is not afraid to call out players and replace them if they aren’t performing – another thing the Canuck’s need.

    And of course, I can’t wait to see the media reaction. Hilariousity is guaranteed!

    It might not be the popular option – but Tortorella is where my money is.

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  9. Lenny
    June 14, 2013

    He is back in Mass and he ain’t supposed to wear a Canucks hat? Good for him on getting the closest possible.

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