John Tortorella fired by the Canucks after one season

Update: It’s official now. John Tortorella has been fired, along with his running mate, Mike Sullivan.

***

Wednesday was an incredibly jam-packed day for sports fans. All three game sevens in the NHL playoffs were intense, with the game between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild particularly crazy. Game five between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets was a nailbiter, with the Raptors giving up a 26-point lead before eking out the win.

Then, just to make things interesting, a slew of new Rob Ford rumours: He’s heading into rehab. There’s a new video of him with a crack pipe. He made extremely crude comments about a political rival. He had a run-in with Justin Bieber. There’s a sex tape.

Really, it was the perfect time to break news that you want to slip under the radar. So, appropriately, news broke. According to Farhan Lalji, the Canucks will fire John Tortorella on Thursday.

 

I’m fairly certain that Tortorella has actually already been fired and that what Lalji was actually breaking was the announcement of that fact. Otherwise that would be one awkward meeting in the morning.

LINDEN: Hey Torts, thanks for coming in. Just wanted to have a discussion about your future with the Canucks.

TORTORELLA: F@$% you.

LINDEN: Right. Good talk.

The timing was particularly fun because it came just a couple seconds after Anze Kopitar scored the go-ahead goal in game seven of the series between the Sharks and Kings. If the Sharks lose the series, Todd McLellan will, in all probability, lose his job. Linden might have been jumping the gun just a bit letting Tortorella go when the score was just 2-1.

The timing gets even more painful when you consider that his former team — and Alain Vigneault’s current one — the New York Rangers, just punched their ticket to the second round by beating the Philadelphia Flyers in game seven.

Everything went wrong this season for the Tortorella and the Canucks. They couldn’t score, setting a franchise low for goals in a season. Their leading scorer, Henrik Sedin, had just 50 points. Only one player, Ryan Kesler, broke the 20-goal barrier with 25 goals. Alex Edler, who had been a minus player just once previously, had the league’s worst plus/minus at minus-39. Alex Burrows got cursed by a witch and forgot how to score.

Then there were the two biggest debacles of the season. The first was Tortorella heading down the Flames’ hallway in an attempt to fight Bob Hartley, earning a two-week suspension. The second was starting Eddie Lack in the Heritage Classic, the last straw that chased Roberto Luongo out of Vancouver and into Florida’s waiting, overly-tanned arms.

There didn’t seem to be any other option for the Canucks and their new President of Hockey Operations, Trevor Linden. It seemed so inevitable that the three-week wait was an eternity, leading to rampant rumours that Tortorella would be here for another season or that Linden wanted to hire a general manager first and pass the responsibility of making a coaching change to the new new guy.

Instead, if the report is true, Tortorella is done in Vancouver and Linden may need to consider hiring a new coach before hiring a new GM, as there will be competition for the most qualified candidates.

Who will be the new coach? Let the rumour-mongering begin.

Tags:

20 comments

  1. Metaxa
    April 30, 2014

    ABT.

    Anybody But Trotz.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 14 votes)
    • Mitch
      April 30, 2014

      I dunno. After this season, they may think they need to get him just to have someone re-educate Edler on the basics of defence.

      Seriously though, he got the Preds to the playoffs for like seven years with next to no scoring forwards. We have scoring forwards (right? This year was just a one-off, right?). Stands to reason he could do a bit more with a team that can actually manufacture goals.

      Just saying, he’s not the worst option.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
  2. Matt
    April 30, 2014

    I was watching the SJ / LA game with my best friend, who is a diehard Sharks fan, and I felt bad – quietly cheering for SJ to lose so McLellan gets fired and is hired by the Canucks – he’d be a much better fit with this group than Torts.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
  3. Suleiman Damji
    April 30, 2014

    ANYONE BUT TODD McLellan.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -8 (from 8 votes)
  4. Wetcoaster
    April 30, 2014

    I’d take Trotz before Carlyle

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  5. Samuel
    May 1, 2014

    But Francesco was behind every bad decision that Gilly made and Frank is too cheap to trade Lu and that’s why Gilly overpaid his hand. And the Derek Roy trade was right and David booth is good by the advanced metrics.

    Hi, I’m Mike Gilly and a breakaway = a blocked shot because Advanced metric. Blog blog blog.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -10 (from 20 votes)
  6. Naturalmystic
    May 1, 2014

    Vancouver scouting staff are incompetent. If the team waits until June to hire a GM the morons at Rogers will have one more year to screw up the draft.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -4 (from 6 votes)
  7. Sean
    May 1, 2014

    Todd McClellan is a bad choice too! We don’t need another coach who can’t get their team past the first round!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -5 (from 9 votes)
  8. akidd
    May 1, 2014

    whew. nice to know that the world’s not completely crazy. because for a while there…it was looking like the canucks were going to keep the coach who was a helm for both the most miserable and boring canuck season in recent memory…just to mess with my head.

    too much stacked against torts. they couldn’t spin it, even if the tsn panel gave it the college try (better luck next time, eastern media.) yup back to the audacity drawing board for the powers that be. they’ll have to think up something even more outlandish than john tortorella coaching the vancouver canucks. something like, i dunno, bitumen tanker traffic off the pristine north coast? (whoops, started thinking about things besides hockey. how did that happen? the circus supply dries up for one spring and… dominoes.)

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  9. BBoone
    May 1, 2014

    I think Trotz would be pretty good in Vancouver. He would be good for our prospects and I am sure would develop the right approach with the players he had and empower them to buy in .

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
  10. shoes
    May 1, 2014

    Finally …..Thank U Jayzuz…..er I mean Linden.

    Torts was a terrible fit, because I think he is a terrible coach. Did he win once in the dead puck era, yes he did…..big deal…..Zsa Zsa used to to be hot too, that ‘ship done sail’ too……

    Torts and Sully and Gully are the worst.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
    • BBoone
      May 1, 2014

      Second worst. Bill Laforge was the worst. Trust those os us eye witnesses still alive to tell the tale.
      But ” The Johnald ” is the worst of anyone from this dimension.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  11. Dr.Au Foo Yu
    May 1, 2014

    OK so Torts is history? Big mistake to bring in Tod from SJ. I like the idea of bringing back Crawford!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -5 (from 5 votes)
  12. southlander
    May 1, 2014

    #FreeTorts, at last.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  13. pw
    May 1, 2014

    i dunno about trotz. is that enough of a change from tortz? its just basically swapping 2 letters. for starters i’d want a coach who has no T’s at all in his name.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
    • BBoone
      May 1, 2014

      Good point. Given the due diligence spent on the last hire , the number of t’s approach
      is undoubtedly a step up.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  14. arjay
    May 1, 2014

    Not a fortune teller but I posted earleir that mb Gully would finish off the season. After MG was fired it made sense that Torts and Sully ( a tandem coaching enterprise) would also be let go.

    As Gully was an NHL head coach that moved Dallas into a playoff team, a coach who liked possession hockey and who was already under contract with the Nux, I had an inkling he might be kept.

    So, to add to the “conspiracy” column on PITB yday…..what is the thinking now that after a pair of eaten contracts totalling in the 12-15MM range (depending on the terms of the contracts) that FA says “enough spending on my foolish hires” and hands the team over to Lawrence Gilman as the GM and Gully as the coach?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
    • arjay
      May 1, 2014

      ok—well, today’s presser removes part of the question as Trevor advises that Gully will NOT be considered as HEAD coach……..now about Lawrence Gilman who is here, under contract and had a big hand in the team’s business side for the past several years and who Trevor has been working with daily……….. he knows the team, the players, the contracts and was considered the de facto GM …as MG was the President of the club. AND, he would save FA yet another executive salary in the $2MM plus range…….

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  15. ryley
    May 2, 2014

    How bout we hire a new SCOUTING STAFF?!?!. Those guys don’t know their ass from their elbow.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  16. shoes
    May 6, 2014

    i have faith in Linden coming up with a coach. I think for appearances he wants input from a new GM, but lets face it, he also has a say or his job would be over once he hires the GM.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)