Canucks recall year under John Tortorella following coach’s new hire

John Tortorella lasted just one year as the coach of the Canucks.
Anne-Marie Sorvin/Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

John Tortorella is a polarizing figure in the NHL and his passion behind the bench has sometimes caused him to cross the line. After he was hired Wednesday as the new coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, players from the team Tortorella most recently coached — the Vancouver Canucks — weighed in on what Tortorella can bring to a team.

The members of the Canucks team coached by Tortorella in 2013-14 were reluctant to criticize the fiery bench boss, who at one point in the season attempted to confront opposing coach Bob Hartley in the hallway between periods. He was suspended by the NHL for 15 days due to the incident. 

Even Jannik Hansen, a player who was publicly reamed out by Tortorella on the bench during a game, said a few positive things about his former coach.

“He was great at motivating,” Hansen told the Vancouver Province. “Very charismatic. He wanted to win above all, so you can’t question his motives and passion. Could I have done without some of the stuff? Of course.”

The Canucks had a down year with Tortorella at the helm and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, but the team also faced significant injuries that year. Six of the players on the roster battled serious injuries by the Olympic break, including star Henrik Sedin.

Vancouver still made the decision to fire Tortorella immediately after the season, and the Canucks will benefit from that now as they will receive compensation from the Blue Jackets in terms of a draft pick and some relief from the remaining three years on Tortorella's contract.

Now Canucks players will just wait to see whether Tortorella is a better fit in Columbus than he was in Vancouver. 

(h/t Vancouver Province)

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