The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers may be switching coaches for next season.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reports that a source has informed him that the former Rangers head coach John Tortorella is “expected to” be hired for the same position with the Canucks. The deal wasn’t completed on Friday because of ongoing discussions, but all the other candidates have been told that the search for a new coach is over.
LeBrun later posts a write-up giving his thoughts on the new hire for the Canadian team, and it’s not exactly positive.
Not so sure I feel the same way about Tortorella in Vancouver. I’ve always gotten along with the man called “Torts”, but I feel that a year away from the game to decompress and recalibrate would have served him better. And there aren’t many more demanding markets than Vancouver, where the media spotlight will be even more intense than in New York.
The Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, eventually losing four of five games against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. They famously suffered on power play throughout the postseason, netting just 3-21 power play opportunities. It wasn’t any better ranked third-to-last in penalty kills with just 75 percent success.
Ironically, earlier on Friday the Rangers hired former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault.