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Tortorella expected to be named Canucks' next head coach

TSN.ca Staff

6/21/2013 7:30:46 PM

John Tortorella is expected to be named the Vancouver Canucks' new bench boss.

He arrived at Vancouver International Airport on Friday amidst reports that he is about to be named the new Canucks coach.

"No decision has been finalized yet," replied a Canucks spokesperson when contacted by TSN.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was on Team 1040 Radio in Vancouver on Friday and wouldn't confirm that Tortorella was the team's new coach but indicated he was a strong candidate. He also told hosts Barry MacDonald and Don Taylor that the organization was hoping to finish off the process shortly.

"John's certainly in the mix and very strong, so we're going to finish off the process the way we designed it initially and that shouldn't take us much longer," said Gillis.

If hired, it would be a trade of sorts as former Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault was introduced on Friday as the new head man in New York.

Tortorella was dismissed from the Rangers on last month following New York's second-round loss to the Boston Bruins. In 319 regular-season games with New York, Tortorella went 171-118-1-29. He was 19-25 in the post-season and reached the playoffs in four of five seasons after taking over as coach in February 2009.

If hired, Tortorella - who turns 55 on Monday - would be taking his third posting as an NHL head coach. He was behind the bench for the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2001-08 before taking the same role with the Rangers.

He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2004 when he led the Lightning to their first-ever Stanley Cup.

Other candidates for the coaching position include Los Angeles Kings assistant John Stevens and former Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel, who coached the Canucks' AHL affiliate in Chicago.