Mike Gillis

Canucks GM says Tortorella is a ‘very strong candidate’


Things are wild and crazy in Vancouver now with John Tortorella in town to speak with the Canucks again.

This afternoon, GM Mike Gillis spoke with Team 1040 in Vancouver about how the process is going and while he wouldn’t confirm Tortorella is their guy, he said all the right things pointing towards him.

“We’re trying to finish off the process,” Gillis said. “I can’t say at this point, but John (Tortorella) is a very strong candidate.”

Obviously with Tortorella there’s the aspect of working peaceably with the media that comes into question. Gillis was eager to tip-toe around that part of the job when it comes to the new coach.

“It’s important (to work with the media). We’re under the microscope all the time. We’re in the spotlight, we accept that.”

He also stressed that it’s not a one-way relationship as well.

“I think you (media) guys have an obligation to work with us as best you can. It’s a two-way street.”

It might be a two-way street, but Tortorella was a MACK truck in his dealings with the press in New York. If it’s true the Canucks are about to offer him the job, business is about to pick up.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: