Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Torts, the new sheriff in Vancouver
If you missed the tweets yesterday or my story in today’s Newsday, we gave you some pertinent quotes from the new sheriff in Van City.
Rather than repeat ‘em here, I’ll provide some others; and you should check out the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province for their takes on Torts, who was on his absolute best behavior, offering up his most sincere side, which is but one of his many moods. The links are http://bit.ly/1ioFKK and http://bit.ly/3cjRqX
Predictably, the papers take a wait-and-see stance, after what their hockey folks think was a promising start. Sounds as if he will bring assistant Mike Sullivan along as well; Canucks will interview him soon.
Again, it’s the summer. There is no time a coach in any sport is more pleasant/accommodating than when he is out of a job---or freshly hired. Sunshine, green grass and butterflies.OK, those quotes, including one from his pre-presser interviews, and then we turn the page on the Torts era in the West until training camp with a veteran team.
I expect news of a Torts charity dog-walk (like the one he organized along the Hudson) to come soon. As one of the interviewers noted: “It’s almost mandatory to have a dog in Vancouver.”
“We’re like the Clampetts”, Torts said, referring to bundling up the family and his four dogs in a converted van to drive cross-continent to Vancouver. (Note: He doesn’t want the dogs to be caged to fly, and remember, he’s not very fond of air travel himself, which is necessary for the Canucks all the time. And given their schedule, not a lot of practice time. Bit different than in NY)
“I think I am a pretty good coach and this is the mess I have put myself into and the mess I need to take myself out of. It’s very important, especially here, to know what that situation is. I am not going to put the organization into a difficult spot. I would like to rectify that.”
“I love New York. It’s a great city and I will be back there. I was fortunate to coach there with that organization.”
“We changed the landscape from a free agent haven to building with our young kids. Bottom line is, the organization felt they didn’t want me to finish the job.”
My guess is that this first year will be a lot different than the second in Vancouver for Torts; although much of the defense is locked into long-term deals, the Sedins are UFAs in 2014 and my guess is that the coach will push GM Mike Gillis and the ownership for younger players and bigger forwards with "bite". Certainly the two games against the Rangers this season will be must-sees.
And remember, with re-alignment, the Canucks division got tougher. Minnesota and Colorado are out, replaced by the Kings, Ducks, Sharks and Coyotes. And Edmonton and Calgary (the weakest link) remain.