John Tortorella
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USA Hockey confirms John Tortorella will coach World Cup squad


It’s official: John Tortorella is Team USA’s head coach for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

“We’re excited to have John as head coach of our World Cup team,” said Los Angeles Kings and Team USA GM Dean Lombardi, per USA Hockey. “He knows what it takes to win at the highest level and I know that our entire management group looks forward to working with him and his staff.”

Tortorella has won 446 NHL games — more than any other American coach — and is a Stanley Cup champion. However, he was relieved of his duties with the New York Rangers in 2013 and his attempt to extend his career with the Vancouver Canucks ended disastrously.

As previously noted though, he does have experience when it comes to representing America in both the Worlds and Olympics. It’s also possible that the World Cup will favor bench bosses that aren’t currently employed by an NHL team, as seems to be the implication after the selection of Tortorella and Ralph Krueger as Team Europe’s head coach.

At the least, this gives him a stage to show that he can still be an effective bench boss.

Report: John Tortorella — yes, John Tortorella — will coach USA at World Cup

John Tortorella

Bit of a stunner ahead of tonight’s announcement from USA Hockey — per TSN, John Tortorella has been chosen to lead the American team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

It’s a decision that will definitely generate debate.

Tortorella, 57, is the winningest American coach in NHL history but has been unceremoniously dumped from his last two gigs. His last stop, the ’13-14 campaign in Vancouver, was an outright disaster — the Canucks recorded their lowest points percentage in 14 years and Tortorella was slapped with a lengthy suspension for trying to attack Calgary head coach Bob Hartley.

If you’re trying to make sense of the hire, do consider Tortorella has history with USA Hockey. He was the head coach of the team that finished sixth at the 2008 Worlds, and an assistant at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

So this hiring isn’t totally out of left field.

But it’s definitely out of shallow left field.

There are other candidates — seemingly more “in form” candidates — like Peter Laviolette and Todd Richards, both of whom were mentioned in our now-hilariously-useless poll from earlier today.

There was also some thought the World Cup of Hockey would be comprised primarily of (active) NHLers, especially among the North American teams, since Doug Armstrong is the Canadian GM, Dean Lombardi is the American GM and Peter Chiarelli is the Youngstars GM.

That said, we could see a trend developing among coaches, as in, maybe they’re looking for guys to focus solely on the World Cup?

If Tortorella takes the U.S. gig on the heels of Ralph Krueger accepting the Team Europe bench boss position, it could suggest coaches for this event will be ones focused solely on the World Cup — unlike NHL coaches, who would (theoretically) be preoccupied with the upcoming campaign, training camp, exhibition games and the like.

Remember that, in February, Tortorella said he wanted to coach again and sounded determined to do whatever it took to break back in.

Video: Don Cherry sounds off on John Tortorella suspension

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Don Cherry addressed the John Tortorella suspension during his seven-minute segment Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday.

Cherry said the ban of 15 days, equal to six games, levied on Tortorella by the National Hockey League on Monday was “too much.”

Tortorella, the fiery Canucks’ head coach, received the supplemental discipline after charging over to the Calgary Flames’ dressing room during the first period of last Saturday’s fight-filled affair at Rogers Arena.

Television cameras caught Tortorella in the middle of a scuffle in the hallway just outside the Flames dressing room, with players jammed up in the tunnel looking on.

Tortorella was angry with Flames head coach Bob Hartley for starting his tough guys Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth. He countered a lineup that included Tom Sestito and Dale Weise. The result: a line brawl off the opening faceoff.

Hartley was fined $25,000 by the NHL for his role in the brawl. Flames interim general manager Brian Burke also voiced his disagreement with the fine, saying he was “perplexed” by the league’s decision.

Burke later added during a public lecture to law students at the University of Calgary: “…we all know the Canucks started it.”