John Tortorella to coach a divisional rival?
Welcome to the west coast, John Tortorella?
Tortorella, who turns 55 on Monday, has been offered the Vancouver Canucks head coaching position and is reportedly en route to Vancouver. He spent the last five seasons with the New York Rangers and won the 2004 Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning by defeating Darryl Sutter’s Calgary Flames in a seven-game series.
— gary lawless (@garylawless) June 21, 2013
Am told Tortorella just spotted boarding United Flight 323 from Denver to Vancouver. Can't imagine he's coming for another interview…
— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) June 21, 2013
Should Tortorella accept the position, John Stevens would return to the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant coach provided another head coaching vacancy does not open up. Stevens had previously been considered a “front-runner” for the Vancouver position.
Stevens, 47, coached the Philadelphia Flyers for three and a half seasons from 2006-10 and is viewed as a quality head coaching candidate following the success of his work with the Kings’ defense for the last three seasons.
“Hey, I think Johnny is a head coach. I think he is a head coach with us,” Darryl Sutter said last week.
“I think everybody has to share responsibility and that’s what good teams do. I’m not one of those guys that has to be the center of attention. And does Johnny Stevens want to be a head coach? Absolutely. But that’s how I feel about him on our staff.”
With Phoenix’s Dave Tippett agreeing to a contract extension on Friday, New York introducing former Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault and Dallas hiring former Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, all NHL head coaching jobs would be spoken for should Tortorella accept the Canucks’ offer.
A look at
Pacific Smythe Western Division A coaches: