John Tortorella

Tortorella announces Sullivan and Gulutzan as assistant coaches

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It was rumored a few weeks ago that Mike Sullivan and Glen Gulutzan would join John Tortorella in Vancouver, and now that has been confirmed by the coach himself.

While speaking at the Canucks Summer Summit, Tortorella confirmed that both men will be joining him as assistants behind the bench. He also noted that video coach Darryl Williams and goalie coach Rollie Melanson would be staying on board.

Sullivan was Tortorella’s assistant while with the New York Rangers and the two have five seasons of experience together there. Sullivan is also a former head coach of the Boston Bruins.

Gulutzan, who was fired by the Stars after this past season, wound up not being out of work very long. Tortorella says he’s looking forward to working with him in Vancouver.

Kesler on Tortorella: ‘He’s going to expect more from everybody’

Ryan Kesler
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Things are set to be a lot different in Vancouver with John Tortorella coaching the team and forward Ryan Kesler found out first-hand what that’ll be like.

Kesler tells Ben Kuzma of The Province that Tortorella has expectations for the veteran club that they’re going to need to live up to or face Torts’ wrath.

“He’s going to expect more from everybody, and we’re going to need more,” he said. “The way things ended last year, I don’t think anybody looks at themselves as a top dog anymore. We’ve got to find our way and battle every night.”

Good thing for the Canucks is Tortorella seems like the kind of coach that will make sure no one acts like a top dog regardless. Rest assured, “battling every night” won’t be a problem with Torts there.

Related: Rangers, Vigneault to face Canucks, Tortorella in preseason

Rangers, Vigneault to face Canucks, Tortorella in preseason

TortsAV
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On Tuesday, the New York Rangers released their preseason schedule.

While normally cause for little interest, the release was intriguing in that it features a game that defies all preconceived notions of preseason hockey — because it’s actually kind of compelling.

On Sept. 26, new coach Alain Vigneault will take the Blueshirts to his old stomping ground, Vancouver, to face the Canucks, who are now coached by Vigneault’s predecessor in New York:

John Tortorella.

Drama!

The game is part of New York’s West Coast exhibition tour, which begins with a Sept. 23 game in Calgary, followed by a game the following night against the Oilers in Edmonton.

From there, the Rangers will fly to Vancouver to take on the Canucks, before heading to Las Vegas to partake in the Kings’ annual Frozen Fury event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

It makes sense the Canucks and Rangers would find a way to meet up.

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time in NHL history two coaches have swapped benches and become the other’s immediate successor.

Vigneault left Vancouver as the Canucks’ all-time winningest head coach, capturing the Jack Adams trophy in 2007 while leading the club to back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies in 2011 and ’12.

Tortorella was an Adams nominee in 2012, leading the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference (for the first time since 1994) and the conference finals (for the first time since 1997.)

Tortorella wants better working relationship with media

John Tortorella
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John Tortorella’s relationship with the media while serving as the head coach of the New York Rangers was often heated, to the point where he recently lamented that he had been defined as “that lunatic.”

Tortorella was been fired by the Rangers and hired as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. It’s a chance for a new start and that’s something he wants to take advantage of.

“I know the scrutiny and the pressure and the media and I think I need to do a much better job at cultivating a relationship,” Tortorella told TSN Radio 1050. “There will be mistakes along the way but I certainly need to straighten a few things out as we begin this.”

Of course, we’ll have to wait until we get into the heart of the regular season and then playoffs before we have a good idea of how Tortorella’s handling of the Vancouver media will be any different. However, Tortorella insists that this is something he genuinely believes in.

“Listen, I’m not going to go out to dinner and hang with the media but I need a working relationship,” Tortorella said. He added that it won’t be a “love-fest.”

Tortorella’s renewed efforts come after he had time to reflect in between jobs.

“No matter if it’s in Vancouver or wherever, and I’m very fortunate for another stop here, when you’re told you’re no longer wanted as a coach, you end up reflecting and assessing,” said Tortorella.

“I’ve done some pretty stupid things along the way… I’m going to try and get some of the stupid things out of the way.”

Tortorella also spoke about Roberto Luongo after he had a chance to talk with the goaltender following the Cory Schneider trade. He feels Luongo will be “the backbone of our team.”

Luongo was originally going to speak to 99.3 The Fox today, but that interview was canceled.

Related:

Report: Torts adds Sullivan, Gulutzan to Canucks coaching staff

Tortorella era in Vancouver will see Sedin twins blocking shots, killing penalties

Canucks announce Tortorella hire: ‘John knows how to win’

PHT Morning Skate: Tortorella already getting criticized for Sedin plans

Sedins
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Tony Gallagher thinks Canucks coach John Tortorella’s plan to have the Sedin twins kill penalties is a very bad idea. (Vancouver Province)

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland is looking to make a move or two in the near future in the hopes of clearing some roster spots. (Detroit Free Press)

An extensive look at 2013 NHL Draft prospect Aleksander Barkov. (Flames.nhl.com)

Oilers GM Craig MacTavish reiterated that he is willing to trade the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but he’s not likely to move too far down. (Edmonton Sun)

The Washington Capitals are still trying to trade defenseman Jeff Schultz, but if they can’t do so, they might end up buying him out. (CSN Washington)

Some of the Stanley Cup playoffs’ unsung heroes. (Puck Daddy)