Toast to Torts

John Tortorella, the new head coach for your Vancouver Canucks!

John Tortorella: Head Coach for your Vancouver Canucks!

“One of my dreams … was hoping some day I could coach in Canada. To be with this team where it’s at … I couldn’t be more excited.” – Torts at his 1st official Canuck Press Conference

I know I am more than a little late to the party BUT I wanted to wait until closer to the season to post this. I believe it is fair to say that following a Q&A from the fans and his introduction to Vancouver media, John Tortorella had turned a lot of people from their preconceived notions regarding his demeanor. Everyone seemed to be expecting to see the man who hates losing and has put himself into hot water with his words but that was not the man who presented himself to the fans and this city [except of course, he still hates losing as do we all!]. Does he have a past and has he made mistakes? YES, hasn’t everyone?! Tortorella acknowledged from the get go of both interviews that he’s working to change that perception of himself and noted that he doesn’t want to put himself or the Canucks organization in a sticky situation.

Every SINGLE time he has addressed the media, EVERYTHING he has said is OVER analyzed. He recently made comments in regards to his dislike for twitter and that he does not want his players to use it too much or leak what’s happening within the locker room. Is it wrong of him to want to keep team dynamics private? I don’t think so. Shortly following what the media dubber his twitter tirade, during another media press conference a cameraman’s cell phone went off interrupting the conference causing Torts to threaten to walk if it happened again. Perhaps a little rash to walk out BUT recently the local media have had little or NO respect for the team.

For the first two pre-season games, Torts was not behind the Canucks bench but rather watching from above. Many commentators and fans alike disagreed with this decision. I liked the decision. By watching from above he could get a real sense of this team, the prospects and see what areas need to be addressed before the regular season begins come October 3rd.

Things are not going to be the same with Torts at the helm of this team and whatever perspective you had of him before is likely to change. He’s going to run a tight ship and the team will have to work hard BUT perhaps his style is what they need to get that extra push throughout the season and down the stretch drive.

Success can be hard to come by in any career but looking at the history of John Tortorella, one can see that he has achieved many success at every level of his coaching career. He has coached the AHL’s Rochester Americans to the Calder Cup victory in 1996, coached the Tampa Bay Lightning to Stanley Cup Victory in 2004 [also won the Jack Adams award in 2004], and helped to coach the US Olympic team to a Silver medal in the 2010 Olympics.

NHL coaching record: In the 854 NHL games he has coached, Torts has amassed a record of 410 WINS-340 LOSSES-37 TIES-67 OVERTIME LOSSES. This year with the Canucks, he will surpass the 900 games coached milestone. Let’s hope it’s a big year for Torts and the team!

He might not have been the coach that many desired or expected to land in Vancouver BUT he is the coach that chosen for the job. He might possibly stir up the media with a comment or two that they over analyze as they do everything. He might do things that make you question his motives BUT everything he does in regards to the team will be to push them to give their best every game. Will they win every game? Probably not, BUT hopefully each loss[may they be few!] will teach them something and be another push to make them better individually and as a team.

I’ll leave you with this last quote from Torts:

“It’s a pretty unique situation coming to a team that’s winning, that has done a lot of great things along the way [like] almost winning a Stanley Cup [in 2011],” he said. “It’s the next level the [Canucks] organization is looking for. I know how I’m going to approach it. It’s going to be asking the players that are here, hopefully some younger players coming through to our organization, for more out of them.”

Welcome to Vancouver, Torts! I look forward to the ups and downs and all the in between as this new chapter with the team begins!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Lockout Limbo

This is a story about how we got stuck in limbo. Lockout Limbo. That is where the fans, players and NHL executives are trapped until this CBA business is all tied up. It was only a matter of time before the NHL announced to canceling of the remaining pre-season games of 2012. Who cares about the pre-season! Just please tell me that these next  three days of meetings between the NHL and the PA will finally amount to something in regards to the long awaited CBA. Could their agreement on secondary issues be a sign that negotiations are finally becoming that…negotiations?  After 5 hours of meetings yesterday…the two sides were scheduled to meet again this morning at 7:00AM [pacific time] and again at some point on Sunday. Only time will tell if this round of meetings hold any wait. I’d like to say that with both sides agreeing on some secondary issues that there is hope that there will be some progress moving forward[probably not as quick as all the fans would like…but progress of any kind right now is a step forward!]. Oh how nice it would be to hear that these weekend discussions have led to some serious progress!

In other news Mr.Katz [aka the owner of the Edmonton Oilers] issued a public apology to the city of Edmonton for not taking the fans and their passion into consideration when he toured Seattle as a possible relocation destination. Maybe good old GB[aka Gary Bettman] should consider issuing an apology to ALL the fans of the NHL for this THIRD lockout limbo he has forced upon us.

Oh Lockout Limbo…how I hope you end so very soon. I am tired of it already…and all we have missed so far is the pre-season. Yesterday was National Jersey Day in Canada…and well you all know how I’ve been itching to sport the blue & green again…so I couldn’t resist:

MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED that as the pre-season is officially off the table that SOON GB & Fehr will announce a new CBA and the re-instate the season!!

Its time for this ridiculous Lockout Limbo to end. None of us enjoy this state of uncertainty as the *pending season* hangs in the balance. This story of the fans, NHL executives and NHL players being stuck in Lockout Limbo is driving me crazy! I just want the season to freaking start already!! Who’s with me?! I know, I know…this lockout has many people down…BUT I’m choosing to remain optimistic. You can join me or decide not to, the choice is yours. There is always room for hope even when some say no. I say what is the harm in having a little faith? There is none as it is my choice. I choose to be optimistic because there is point in being negative about something that I have no control over. Just because we are stuck in this oh this so terrible Lockout Limbo…does not mean that my love of the game is stuck in limbo. My love of hockey will continue regardless of the length of this Lockout Limbo corner that Bettman has forced us all into until that new CBA is reached. I must say…this corner of Lockout Limbo is crowded….it is high time to officially reward the fans with the remainder of the 2012-2013 season.

Do you remember when fans all around the league razzed one another about their ridiculous loyalty to their teams? That is the usual practice. The ONE positive thing about this Lockout Limbo is that ALL fans from ALL different teams are uniting together [regardless of their regular season loyalty] to make their voices heard as one

Oh Lockout Limbo….how tired of you I grow every day! Oh Lockout Limbo…how I look forward to [SOON…I hope!] hearing that you are no more. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.