Kukla's Korner Hockey
"John Tortorella was on my staff for the Olympics in 2010. He's a good guy. I don't know what's going on in his head, but you know what? Shut your mouth and worry about your team. Leave my coach alone."
-Brian Burke of the Calgary Flames on Vancouver head coach John Tortorella.
Tortorella made a few comments about Bob Hartley last night and you can read all about in a piece from the CP at TSN.
John Tortorella is not very fond of Calgary's head coach Bob Hartley and is upset about the hit on Daniel Sedin...
Jim Hugson of CBC on the hiring of Trevor Linden in Vancouver.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The Vancouver Canucks made two moves Wednesday: One, they introduced Trevor Linden, the most popular player in franchise history, as the new president of hockey operations. Two, they extended the season-ticket renewal deadline until after the draft and free agency period.
“We’re trying to sell tickets,” said chairman Franceso Aquilini, when asked about the economic cost of missing the playoffs. “I’m disappointed in the season, just like all our fans. Trevor’s here now. He’s going to put a plan in place and get our season-ticket holders back and believing in this team again.”
For now, that’s what this is about. Sales. Belief. But if you’re a season-ticket holder, are you sold just because general manager Mike Gillis is gone? Do you believe just because Trevor’s here now? Or do you wait and see what the plan actually is before you come back?
Vancouver, BC –- The Vancouver Canucks announced today that Trevor Linden has been named President, Hockey Operations and Alternate Governor, NHL. Linden returns to lead the team that he played on for 16 seasons, including seven as team captain.
In his role, Linden will be responsible for all hockey operations, including the coaching and scouting staffs, player procurement and development, and minor league affiliations and operations.
Since retiring after 19 seasons in the NHL, Linden has resided in Vancouver where he has led a number of successful business ventures ranging from commercial/residential development projects to fitness club chains. He has also remained involved in the community through the Trevor Linden Foundation.
from David Ember of the Globe and Mail,
Much of the distancing revolves around the hiring of Mr. Tortorella, whose reputation as a firebrand and penchant to coach defensive hockey made him a controversial choice last year. On Monday, Francesco Aquilini sent a Globe and Mail reporter a text message warning of legal action after the newspaper published a story discussing the family’s involvement in the hiring.
“I read your article today. You are a prick,” it said. Two hours later, a legal letter from the family’s counsel arrived by e-mail. It alleged defamation, sought a retraction and an apology, and threatened further action.
“The facts are that while the Aquilinis supported the decision of the General Manager, the hiring decision was his and not theirs,” lawyer Howard Shapray of Vancouver-based Shapray Cramer Fitterman Lamer LLP wrote in the legal letter to The Globe.
The legal push also took aim at The Province newspaper in Vancouver, which several weeks earlier in a column had mentioned the Aquilinis’ role in the Tortorella hiring. Mr. Shapray on Monday sent a legal letter to The Province and made similar demands as were made of The Globe.
The Aquilinis’ statements skirt how the hiring played out....
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
So we’ve I.D.ed the true problem in Vancouver. It’s not Tortorella, and it is clearly no longer Gillis. It is meddling ownership that at some point likely told Gillis he had autonomy to make hockey decisions, then changed its mind when it mattered most. Now, danger time arrives: Will the Aquilinis stay married to their wrong-headed hiring of Tortorella and hire Jay Feaster, perhaps the only prospective GM in the entire hockey world who would keep Tortorella as coach of the Canucks? Talk about the very definition of a compounded mistake.
Nothing against a competent GM in Feaster, who did a decent job in Calgary. But we’re saying this right now, and as clearly as we can: If Feaster gets the Canucks GM job, this team is in trouble. Because that means the Aquilinis think they are hockey smart, and the Canucks will lose for a long, long time if ownership is going to make the important, hockey-related decisions.
... the only problem is that there won’t be a quick fix for whoever happens to come in next. The reality is, Gillis actually inherited a very good situation, was a decent steward for a while, didn’t do enough to make it better and in the past month or so, watched helplessly as it all went up in smoke. Messy – and when it gets messy like this, all you can do is what the Aquilini family did Tuesday. They gave the people what they wanted.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail on the firing of Mike Gillis. More from Duhatschek...
Vancouver, B.C. - Canucks Sports & Entertainment announced today that Mike Gillis has been relieved of his duties as President and General Manager.
"On behalf of my entire family, I would like to sincerely thank Mike Gillis for his hard work and the many contributions he made on and off the ice during his tenure,” said Francesco Aquilini, Chairman, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. "The Vancouver Canucks had success under Mike's leadership, and we nearly reached our ultimate goal; but I believe we have reached a point where a change in leadership and new voice is needed.”
"I also want to thank our fans for their support for the Vancouver Canucks through a difficult and frustrating season," continued Aquilini. "We haven’t met their expectations or ours. We are committed to bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver for our fans and we will continue to do everything possible to reach that goal."
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Whether or not there is anything to the Trevor-Linden-for-president rumors out there, it certainly sounds like something that would please the Canucks’ fan base regardless of whether it’s an astute move or not — something that won’t be known until it’s well down the road.
A businessman just looking at the Canucks’ bottom line in the next year or so would be particularly attracted to an incoming-Linden’s effect on season ticket sales, as his presence might produce a lesser drop-off than might be expected after this season. But the problem seems to be that this move is being made to keep the present coach in place.
Therein lies the problem.
If John Tortorella stays, you will still likely be looking at the Sedins playing all that time and putting up 50-point, injury-filled seasons. How that’s going to lead to more wins and, even more improbably, more entertainment is a total mystery.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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