VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks have called a news conference Tuesday amid reports they will name John Tortorella as their next coach.
Tortorella, the former coach of the New York Rangers, arrived in Vancouver on Friday as the Canucks were in the process of finalizing their choice of a replacement for the fired Alain Vigneault.
If all goes as expected, Tortorella and Vigneault will trade teams. Vigneault was named last week as Tortorella’s replacement with the Rangers.
Vancouver’s all-time leader in coaching wins, Vigneault was fired in May after the Canucks were eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second consecutive year. He guided the Canucks to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals in 2010-11.
Tortorella led New York to a 26-18-4 record and sixth-place finish in the Eastern Conference before they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Bruins. The ouster came a year after Tortorella took the Rangers to the conference final, where they were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils.
Tortorella has also coached Tampa Bay, guiding the Lightning to a Stanley Cup title over the Calgary Flames in 2004. In addition, he served as an assistant with the Rangers, Buffalo and Phoenix and as a head coach in the minors.
He won a Calder Cup title with the AHL’s Rochester Americans in 1995-96 and guided the Virginia Lancers to an Atlantic Coast Hockey League crown in 1986-87, his first season as a coach.
During his career, he has become known for being confrontational with reporters and extremely demanding of players. His animated style differs from that of Vigneault, who is more laid-back, rarely shows emotion behind the bench and has developed a rapport with media.
Once the Canucks confirm their new coach, they will also be looking for a pair of assistants. Former associate coach Rick Bowness and assistant Newell Brown were fired the same day as Vigneault.