Mike Gillis

Gillis won’t say if Tortorella’s lost Canucks room


Vancouver’s Mike Gillis met with reporters at the GM meetings in Boca Raton on Wednesday, and was decidedly tight-lipped about the future of embattled head coach John Tortorella.

“I am not going to comment on specific things about John,” Gillis said, when asked if Tortorella had lost the dressing room (per CBC). “It is unfair to him.”

The most telling part of Gillis’ scrum is that “no comment” really meant “no comment.” The Canucks GM was mum on both sides of the Tororella discussion — he refused to acknowledge rumors of a pending dismissal, but also refused to give the coach a vote of confidence.

Gillis did call the Canucks a team “in transition” and said there was plenty of blame to go around for the disappointing season. Gillis also suggested, curiously enough, that he still has the support of the Aquilini ownership group, which is important given there’s as much uncertainty surrounding Gillis’ future as GM as there is with Tortorella’s future as head coach.

Yesterday, The Province’s Jason Botchford wrote that ‘it’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,” even suggesting Torts would be turfed prior to tonight’s game in Winnipeg.

Who exactly pushed for Tortorella’s hiring has always been a big question in Vancouver. If it truly was Gillis, it was an odd choice for a general manager who had always prided himself on a progressive hockey philosophy. Tortorella is more of an old-school coach, which is why many believe it was Canucks ownership that wanted him, not Gillis.

We wondered last week if Tortorella’s system was a major part of the problem in Vancouver, and certainly nothing we’ve seen since has made us stop wondering.

Tortorella wonders if Lack can handle going from Robin to Batman

Enthusiasts Enjoy The Exhibits At Super Comic Convention In London

A day after a disastrous loss to the New York Islanders, some fans may dream that the Vancouver Canucks will find a hero. Maybe that explains why John Tortorella has Batman on the brain.

When asked about the challenges facing new No. 1 goalie Eddie Lack, Tortorella made a comic book comparison, as Cam Tucker reports for Metro Vancouver.

“It’s Batman and Robin. It’s easy to be Robin. When you become Batman it changes a little bit and we expect some bumps in the road with Eddie,” Tortorella said. “But I’ve seen him this year handle so many different situations … that this is where we’re going.”

(Does that make Jacob Markstrom Chris O’Donnell? Roberto Luongo is probably hockey’s Michael Keaton, so it might be fair.)

At least Lack, 26, is taking the rather odd comparison in stride. Then again, maybe it’s all about the cool car.

“I always want to be Batman. Just going try to do my best here and get back at it,” Lack said. “The Batmobile is pretty cool.”

A sense of humor might just be needed in this situation.

Tortorella calls meltdown ‘a kick in the teeth’

Eddie Lack, Joe Colborne, Dan Hamhuis

To little surprise, the Vancouver Canucks provided some interesting comments following their stunning meltdown against the New York Islanders on Monday. To even less of a surprise, head coach John Tortorella provided the best sound bytes.

There was one slight upset, at least to some: reporters considered him even keeled after his team saw a 3-0 third-period lead slip into a 7-4 loss against the Isles.

“This is a kick in the teeth,” Tortorella said. “We need to be men.”

Eddie Lack understandably took a lot of responsibility for allowing six of those even goals, not throwing a power-play unit that allowed three power-play goals under the bus. (Or at least lying under the bus with them.)

Meanwhile, Ryan Kesler merely expressed his bewilderment at the situation, though not in a Clerks kind of way.

Yet, to the dismay of Canucks fans and the sordid entertainment of other onlookers, it did happen. Now it’s just down to guessing what’s next.

(And no, Roberto Luongo hasn’t generated a snarky public comment about this … yet.)

* – The last one was an empty-netter.