Trevor Linden has made his first official move as the Vancouver Canucks’ new president of hockey operations. It’s as big as it is unsurprising.
Linden announced this morning that the club is firing first-year head coach John Tortorella, as well as assistant Mike Sullivan.
What took him so long? Tortorella’s 10-month tenure behind the bench was a clinic in underperformance, with virtually every member of the team’s core producing poor-to-mediocre results night in and night out throughout the regular season, with the exception of a brief bout of decent hockey in December.
In a bizarre turn last summer, Tortorella swapped jobs with former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault, as Vigneault took the reins of Tortorella’s previous club, the New York Rangers. Vigneault seems to have been the solution to the Rangers’ problems, as shown by the fact that they advanced last night to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The same cannot be said of Tortorella’s work in Vancouver.
According to the media release:
“Today we are making an important change in the direction of our team,” said Linden. “On behalf of the entire organization, we extend our thanks to John, Mike and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and wish them the very best.”
“We have a lot of important work to accomplish this off-season as we build our management and coaching staff, improve our roster and connect with our fans,” added Linden. “Our General Manager search is well underway and we will begin assessing head coaching candidates immediately.”