Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Torts As Possible Canucks Coach

If you believe the internet (and who doesn’t?) then you believe John Tortorella will be the next coach of the Vancouver Canucks. The opinions on this potential move vary from ‘worst decision ever’ to ‘might possibly work’. But I’m yet to find someone who thinks it’s the perfect fit.

There are a lot of reasons for that. Mostly it comes down to the fact that the man who coached the New York Rangers appeared to be a ranting lunatic. He yelled at players, he benched stars and loved to openly hate the media.

Do you honestly see Ryan Kesler taking well to being torn a new one? Or being benched? I definitely don’t. Could tough love work on Roberto Luongo? If he doesn’t start to cry, his overprotective fan base definitely will. (I know, I know he won’t be here, but still.) Most importantly Kevin Bieksa has come out and said “I don’t think we need somebody to come in a crack the whip.” Torts is a notorious, public whip cracker.

So does Gillis and Aquilini you take the risk here and tell the team ‘you don’t know what you really need’ and give them Tortorella anyway? Based on what? His strategy? Let’s take a look at that too.

With the Rangers, Torts relied heavily on Lundqvist. Too heavily. A goalie can’t carry a team on his shoulders. We’ve seen that fail time and time again. And the last thing Vancouver needs is a coach who comes in and lays it all at the feet of the starter goalie. Who is our starter next season anyway? And blocking shots? Vancouver isn’t made up of young bendable players anymore. It’s mostly mid-career, breakable players (I’m looking at you Ryan Kesler) so standing in front of slap shots isn’t the smartest move for this team. And this team has too many strong goal scorers… who aren’t scoring. We need a coach that can fix that problem, not one that gets Henrik Sedin to lay down in front of a shot.

I’ve always thought that the Canucks were an overly emotional team. They need a coach that can harness that and focus that, not one that adds even more unfocused emotion to the room and the bench. Dan Bylsma was able to do that with the Pens when he first got there, although he seems to have lost that magic touch. Torts, in my opinion, can’t do that.. Sure the Canucks seem to do well when they think the hockey world hates them, but I don’t think they’d do well thinking their own coach hates them.

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6 Responses

  1. Eddie The Horrible says:

    Wonderful. I can see him weirding out Tony Gallagher already.

  2. appaulled says:

    Torts could coach in Vancouver if they completely rebuilt the team and got rid of Gillis. Gillis is a players GM…..used to be a players agent. Do you really seeing him bringing in someone who abuses players. So much for a team that can attract stars.
    Not likely to happen here. In fact he may be done in the NHL.

  3. My initial thoughts had me agreeing with, but after hearing Elliotte Friedman on TEAM 1040, I’m no longer entirely sure. Apparently Torts is still well respected in the NHL and while his schtick can wear on most, his abilities as a coach still give him serious cred.

    You are right about Torts and Gillis as a functional unit – something would definitely need to change.

  4. Man… Tony and Torts would drive each other nuts. Great for media, crap experience for the sideshow it’ll create.

  5. Neil B says:

    When Torts had a crappy team with no depth and no real talent at the blueline, he coached a defensively-responsible team that blocked the hell out of shots and leaned on the goalie. When the team got better, he kept the style that worked with the majority of his players’ skill level.

    When Torts had two balanced scoring lines and a highly-mobile defence that included young Danny Boyle and Pavel Kubina, he won a Stanley Cup while finishing 4th in scoring during the NHL regular season.

    Which Torts did we get?

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