May 1, 2014 (ISN) – John Tortorella will be let go after only one season as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, it was reported late Wednesday.
TSN’s Farhan Lalji reported the development, which comes as new president Trevor Linden seeks to put his stamp on the Canucks.
Linden was hired last month, a day after former president and general manager Mike Gillis was shown the door.
Tortorella joined the Canucks last off-season, just weeks after being let go by the Rangers. New York hired Alain Vigneault, Tortorella’s predecessor as the Canucks’ head coach.
The Canucks got off to a promising start under Tortorella but won just 11 of their last 41 games, finishing at 36-35-11 and missing the playoffs.
Tortorella didn’t help his cause by incurring a 15-day suspension after a testy game in January between the Canucks and Calgary Flames.
With the Canucks clearly headed to a finish outside of the playoffs, both Gillis and Tortorella took their turns presenting their view of the season last week to local media, as well as their thoughts on the team’s style of play.
The coach said the Canucks are a team in transition.
“It needs youth. It needs a change. The team needs to be retooled. It’s a young man’s game,” Tortorella said.
The decision by Gillis to hire the abrasive Tortorella, whose previous teams played a style not consistent with the brand the Canucks have played in recent years, raised eyebrows last summer.
In his NHL coaching career, Tortorella has posted 446 wins in 936 regular-season games, more wins than any American-born coach in history.
In 2004, he won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay and was the Jack Adams Award winner as coach of the year.
He spent several seasons as an assistant prior to the Lightning job.
(DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS)