Canucks to fire John Tortorella, ask permission to speak to Mike Futa

Ken Campbell
Torts

One day after watching their former coach win his first-round series with the New York Rangers, the Vancouver Canucks appear poised to fire the former Ranger coach who replaced him.

TSN’s Farhan Lalji reported Wednesday night that the Vancouver Canucks will fire first-year coach John Tortorella on Thursday. Here’s a link to the story: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=450923. Another NHL source confirmed the news to thn.com.

Meanwhile, thn.com can confirm that the Canucks have asked the Los Angeles Kings permission to speak with Mike Futa, who is the co-ordinator of amateur scouting for the Kings, about their vacant GM job. It’s also believed the Canucks are interested in speaking with Boston Bruins GM Jim Benning, who has emerged as the frontrunner for the job.

The Canucks were 36-35-11 under Tortorella and failed to make the playoffs this season. Tortorella has four years left on the five-year, $10 million deal he signed last summer after coming to the Canucks from the Rangers. Former Canuck coach Alain Vigneault moved to the Rangers after being fired by the Canucks.

Tortorella’s tenure with the Canucks immediately came into question when GM Mike Gillis was fired and former Canuck Trevor Linden came on as president of hockey operations for the team. Should Tortorella be fired, it will add another vacancy to an already open job market for head coaches. The Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers are also looking for coaches, with a number of other vacancies – possibly in Carolina, Toronto and San Jose – possibly opening up in the near future.