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
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”