Tortorella, Vigneault admit it’s strange to face former teams

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Alain Vigneault coached the Vancouver Canucks for seven seasons while John Tortorella was the New York Rangers’ bench boss for five, so Thursday’s upcoming preseason game must be weird for both of them. They spoke about as much with the Bergen Record earlier today.

“It is strange,” Vigneault said. “Strange is a word I can use right now. Coming in this morning and saying hi to the staff that worked with me for a long time, it was special.”

Tortorella’s experience probably wasn’t as emotional since the game isn’t in Madison Square Garden. Still, he noted that he didn’t really want to leave the Rangers in the first place.

“I said right along, I loved working there,” Tortorella said. “Did I want to leave? No. I was told to leave and I left. It’s part of the game and I’m knee-deep in it here trying to get this team ready to play.”

As far as regular season meetings go, the Canucks go back to MSG on Nov. 30 while Vancouver hosts the Rangers on April Fool’s Day, 2014.