John Tortorella’s tenure as Vancouver Canucks coach lasted all of one season, as he was fired on Thursday. Per a team release:
Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden announced today that Head Coach John Tortorella and Assistant Coach Mike Sullivan have been relieved of their coaching duties.
“Today we are making an important change in the direction of our team,” said Linden. “On behalf of the entire organization, we extend our thanks to John, Mike and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and wish them the very best.”
“We have a lot of important work to accomplish this off-season as we build our management and coaching staff, improve our roster and connect with our fans,” added Linden. “Our General Manager search is well underway and we will begin assessing head coaching candidates immediately.”
Just three seasons removed from their appearance in the Stanley Cup finals, the Canucks finished 12th in the Western Conference this season, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season and just the third time in the last 13 seasons. Tortorella, the first U.S.-born coach to reach 400 victories, joined the Canucks after being fired by the New York Rangers after the 2012-13 season. Interestingly enough, Tortorella was replaced in New York by Alain Vigneault, who had been fired by the Canucks. Vigneault and the Rangers moved on to the conference semifinals with a Game 7 win over the Flyers on Wednesday night.
Tortorella had a, shall we say, touchy relationship with reporters, which was reflected in some of the reaction on Twitter.
Canucks officially fire John Tortorella, wish him best of luck as the villain in The Avengers 3 movie.— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) May 1, 2014
The Canucks have fired John Tortorella. Will he coach in the NHL again?— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) May 1, 2014
Here are 10 possible replacements for Tortorella.