In what may have been his last public appearance as Vancouver’s head coach, John Tortorella told reporters today that the Canucks’ core needs to change.
“I felt from day one that it’s stale,” said Tortorella. “It needs youth. It needs a change. … We’re not in 2011.”
(You can listen to the audio here.)
Direct as the message may have been delivered, it was no big revelation. In fact, Mike Gillis emphasized the “need to get younger, faster and stronger” well before he was fired last week as president and general manager.
The Canucks’ core is comprised of Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin (33 years old), Alex Burrows (33), Ryan Kesler (29), Kevin Bieksa (32), Dan Hamhuis (31), and Alex Edler (27). Kesler and Edler have been linked to numerous trade scenarios (the former more so than the latter). The Sedins are generally considered untouchables.
As for Tortorella, his future in Vancouver remains uncertain. The consensus is that he’ll be fired as part of new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden’s overhaul, possibly as early as this week.
Related: Linden thinks Torts misused the Sedins
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.