John Tortorella -- a Stanley Cup champion with 12 seasons of NHL head coaching experience -- has been named the 17th head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, according to a press release sent out by the team. He will be officially introduced at a press conference later on Tuesday.
"We are proud to introduce John Tortorella as Head Coach of the Vancouver Canucks," said Michael D. Gillis, President and General Manager, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. "John has coached championship teams and is passionate about winning. He has a proven ability to bring the best out of his players and we believe he has all of the qualities to bring our team success."
Tortorella has 410 career NHL wins as a head coach. He is the winningest American coach in National Hockey League history. He won a Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. His most recent coaching job was in four-plus seasons with the New York Rangers, where he took the team as far as the Eastern Conference Final in 2012 as the No. 1 seed in the East, before bowing out to the New Jersey Devils. The team went to the second round this past season, and Tortorella was dismissed after losing to the Boston Bruins in five games.
The Canucks are going in a different direction after two consecutive first-round exits following their seven-game loss to the Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. As has been mentioned (and will be in days to come), they dismissed their previous coach, Alain Vigneault, and hired the man Vigneault is replacing in New York. Luckily, the teams will only meet twice per season, so the comparisons will be minimal.