NHL Canadian Corner – May 1, 2014.

Canucks to fire coach John Tortorella, Canadiens prepare for their series against the Bruins, decisions coming soon for the Maple Leafs, plus the latest on the Oilers, Flames and Jets. 

Bye-bye, Torts?

Bye-bye, Torts?

TSN.CA; Farhan Lalji last night reports the Vancouver Canucks will announce today the firing of head coach John Tortorella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like president of hockey operations Trevor Linden isn’t dawdling as his critics suggested yesterday. Quite frankly, this is the sensible move. Tortorella proved the wrong fit on a team built for speed and offense. It was either replace the coach or overhaul the roster to best fit Tortorella’s physical defensive style. With a large number of coaches available this summer (including Peter Laviolette, Barry Trotz and Kevin Dineen), it make sense to change things up behind the bench.

LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien praised the play of defensemen Francis Bouillon and Mike Weaver, but wouldn’t say if they’ll be in the lineup when the Habs open their series tonight against the Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bouillon and Weaver are capable defensemen but they also lack size. Therrien could go with his bigger blueliners against the larger, more physical Bruins. 

TORONTO SUN: President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Tim Leiweke yesterday told Sportnet The Fan 590 decisions on changes for the club could be coming soon. Leiweke also said no one on the team was untradeable, but swiftly added that view “doesn’t mean a damn thing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason for the delay in making significant changes thus far is new team president Brendan Shanahan is meeting with the players and the staff before he starts reaching decisions. I daresay we’ll start seeing some changes later this month, especially behind the bench.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The statue of Wayne Gretzky outside Rexall Place will be relocated to the Oilers’ new arena, which opens in September 2016.

 CALGARY SUN: There’s a report claiming the Flames could relocate their AHL team to Glen Falls, New York.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets are selling game-used equipment this weekend.


  1. Seems to me Lieweke likes to bein a bit of the spot light and does things on a grand scale, Shanny is from the NHL office. Do you think maybe some decisions are already made but with all the other things going on? NHL would prefer the spot light on the series MLSE would prefer to keep the spot light on the Raptors ect. That maybe the wait for the changes maybe a while coming more like when the Raptors are eliminated and the break between the confrence finals and the beginning of the cup or perhaps even after the finals. Seems to me like that maybe more in line with how this new group runs the show at MLSE. Maximize the impact and coverage.

    • Ya there’s that but there is no real urgency – other than to us fans – for them to make these long term decisions. Let them take their time and hopefully although I have my doubts, that they will make correct ones.

      • Thing about the silence it does make one nervous, this could all go horribly wrong. Keep Carlyle hook up Bolland with another anchor of a contract, tradeaway some youth for players on the downside….may have been better to axe them all then hire Shanny, we will see.

    • Some astute observations there, dude. You’re probably right on several counts. I wonder if the Marlies’ post season run is playing a part in this. Does Shanahan want to get a grasp of what exactly is in the pipeline, or maybe Steve Spott is in the early conversation as a possible successor to Carlyle? Speaking of Carlyle, do you think he sees the writing on the wall, and with a bevy of coaching positions opening up, perhaps would hasten his own departure so as to get in the running for some of the more plum positions that are up for grabs?

      • I dont care much for Carlyle but honestly leaving him hanging like that isnt right I agree with what most have said make a decision one way or another to let the guy move on if he isnt the guy. I think in Nashville he could have some success. That being said I cant see Randy being the type to be overly worried about it, Im sure he thinks he is a great catch and thinks (maybe rightly so) that if he is fired he wont be out of work long.

  2. Hey Lyle
    I recall reading an TSN article that said Torts had a clause in his contract that allowed Canucks to fire him and NOT have to pay out his full contract. The article also mentioned Gillis was believed to have a similar “out clause”. Do you or anyone here remember reading it, or what it was?

    Thanks, and as always, thanks for the excellent work you do with this site!

    • I’ve also heard some reports that there’s an out-clause whereby the Canucks would pay him less. We’ll hopefully find out more details when his firing becomes official.

      • Thanks as always Lyle.
        Now I am SURE it’ll be reported on your site once official.

  3. Torts was a bad fit in Vancouver…as was Carlyle in Toronto…not sure either coach was best suited for their respective teams as both appeared to be short term solutions to even bigger long term problems as it seemed both teams were more sold on public persona rather than substance of merchandise upgrade.

    Linden and Shanny have some serious reshaping to consider and I look forward to seeing just exactly how much either can really get done