Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis has confirmed the hiring of John Tortorella, who will become the 17th head coach in franchise history.
Here’s an excerpt of Gillis’ letter to ticketholders:
I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve just named John Tortorella as the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. It’s a great day for our organization, and I’m confident that this change will make an immediate and significant impact on the team.
Over the last several weeks, we have looked at every possible option for this role and we met with several exceptional candidates. We approached the process with completely open minds but with a very clear view of what we need to accomplish. As I said at the end of the season, we are an organization committed to doing everything possible to win, from ownership down. I feel John gives us the best opportunity to accomplish that goal.
John knows how to win. He’s won the Calder Cup and the Stanley Cup and has been very successful with a broad range of players and teams. Beyond John’s tremendous skill, insight and experience, he will be a great fit in terms of his values and work ethic. Off the ice, John and his wife have done inspiring work through the John and Christine Tortorella Family Foundation and he’s been a champion and a support for many people in need. John is also extremely excited about our players, our organization, our fans and our community.
The Canucks will officially introduce Tortorella to the media this afternoon but, prior to that, will hold a live online interview on the team website where ticketholders can submit questions for the new bench boss.
Tortorella already spoke with Canucks.com about his new role, and how he’ll need to adjust some of his, ahem, personality traits after five seasons in New York.
“I think it’s come to the point with me, where I’m kind of being defined as ‘that lunatic,’ not only on the bench, but also after games with media,” he explained. “I don’t want to be defined that way, but I do make my own bed in that type of situation and I need to make some corrections, I need to make some adjustments in that part of it.
“I’m dealing with an older team here, as I look at the roster, I think I need to respect the older players and some of the processes they’ve gone through and make adjustments with myself as far as how I handle them.”