Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/01/14 at 01:59 PM ET
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Yes, the Canucks should have seen this coming in September. But they were blinded by the other things they thought they saw in Tortorella. The iron hand. The unrelenting intensity. There was a belief the Canucks had grown soft and comfortable under Alain Vigneault and, under Torts’ watch, the easy ride would be over. And it was.
So was the winning.
Again, in retrospect, it was a gross insult to players like the Sedins, Luongo, Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, etc., etc., that they needed a drill sergeant to get the best out of them. Those players were committed professionals. They were responsible for the most successful run in Canucks history. And suddenly they were being told they didn’t care enough and we’re bringing in someone who’ll make you care.
It’s little wonder no one in senior management was taking responsibility for Tortorella’s hiring.
Again, if there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s a simple one. There are no shortcuts in hockey. There are no instant fixes. You succeed by hiring good people to make intelligent, well-informed decisions. You build a team both on and off the ice which reflect the game’s time-honoured values. In Trevor Linden, the Canucks have a man who has a chance to create that organization. But, after this season, it will take time. A lot of time.
In the end, Tortorella should have been a one-night stand for the Canucks; one moment of impulsiveness which should have been forgotten as quickly as the thought entered their mind. Instead, it turned into a bad marriage that will leave a lingering scar on this team. The Canucks might get better. You just wonder if they’ll ever be the same.
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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.
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