Vancouver Canucks: The Tale of Two Coaches

john tortorella rumors


John Tortorella and Alain Vigneault are as different as night and day, oil and water, hot and cold, Canada and America, you get the drift, yet each coach’s former teams have decided they are what’s right going forward.

Vigneault, or AV has been described by media and fans as likeable, classy, fun loving, and slow to react. Whereas  Tortorella, or Torts is often described as difficult to deal with, hard on his players, and quick to react. Both great coaches for with very different coaching stills. AV likes to stick with his classic players, while Torts will bench a player at the drop of a hat. AV has yet to coach a team that can win a Stanley Cup, and Torts lead the Tampa Bay Lighting to the franchise’s first ever cup in 2004

Alain Vigneault at the MSG presser at Radio City Music Hall. (Photo courtesy of Blueshirts United)

Alain Vigneault, former coach of the Vancouver Canucks has found himself a new home in the Big Apple. The story broke Saturday June 15, 2013, and was made official by the New York Rangers in a live press conference at Radio City Music Hall, on Friday June 21, 2013. The 52 year old Quebec City native signed a 5 year contract with the Rangers franchise. It seems he is very ready to put his time in Vancouver behind him and focus on winning a Stanley Cup with his new team.

“I’m coming here to win and there’s no doubt in my mind that this organization is committed to winning the Stanley Cup.” said Vigneault

AV has meant everything to Vancouver but as GM Mike Gillis said, “It was time for a change in this organization.”
And a change has been made! What a change?!?!

John Tortorella? Yes John Tortorella New York Rangers former head coach is now the new coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Much to the surprise of fans and media alike.

On Tuesday June 25, 2013 Tortorella was named as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, in a live fan Q & A followed by a live press conference. The 55 year old Boston native signed a 5 year contract with the franchise.

When Gillis was asked by media, “So same as the Rangers contract with AV?” Gillis rolled his eyes and said, “Elliot?! You didn’t ask permission for that follow up question so I’m going to ignore it.” Laughter filler the already light hearted press room”

Torts seemed excited about his new coaching duties in the big time hockey market.

“”I’ve had a blast in this city. This morning’s Q&A was great. These fans are passionate.” said Tortorella

According to Torts he and AV have been speaking at get length about the two teams for a little over two weeks now. He didn’t go in to detail about what was said but the players have been quite public about it.

It seems the arrival of Torts sparked some questioning amongst players. Canucks right wing forward Alexandre Burrows made a friendly comment in french to a former Tampa Bay player André Roy:

Alex Burrows ?

Hey @AndreRoy36 As tu des conseils pour moi et mes teammates avec l’arrivée de ton ancien coach a Van? Thanks chummy

(Do you have any advice for me and my teammates with the arrival of your former coach to Van? Thanks chummy)

What is even scarier is Roy’s reply:

Ha!! Wow! Soit tu demandes un trade ou …T’aprrend l’italien! Pour les Sedin achète leur des Kleenex parce qu’ils vont brailler :)

(Ha! Wow! Either you or requests a trade … or you learn Italian! For the Sedins Kleenex buy them because they will cry :) )

And the Canucks would not be the Cauncks if Luongo (Vancouver Canucks back up goaltender) didn’t chime in on his famous twitter account:

Strombone ?


But it seems to just be worked up Twitter talk as Chris Higgins, Ryan Kesler, Jason Garrison, and the caption of the Canucks Daniel Sedin came out to greet their new coach.

“I told you we’d get together again!” Torts said to Higgins Higgins smiled and replied, “Yeah, you did say that?!” Torts coached Higgins back in 2009 – 2010 when he was a Ranger.

“I was very excited when I heard the news.” says Kesler who shock the hand of his new coach and his former Team USA coach in 2010.

“This is something we’ve asked for.” said caption Hernik Sedin

Torts later say in a radio interview, “The boys are all so nice and glad to have me here. But then again we haven’t lost a game yet.”

Yes losing a game will be a true test to how Torts will measure up in Vancouver tough hockey marker. For now fans, media, and player are very happy with their new coach.

I’m not sure there will be many more friendly calls between the two coaches as the season moves forward. But rumor has it the two teams will meet in September for a preseason match up. So the story will continue.