Vancouver, BC – In the end, the Rangers and Canucks swapped head coaches.
The final portion of the switch occurred on Tuesday, when Vancouver officially brought in former New York bench boss John Tortorella. The move came four days after the Blueshirts named former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault to the same post.
Tortorella inherits a Vancouver team that captured the Northwest Division title, but was swept in the first round of the playoffs by San Jose.
"We are proud to introduce John Tortorella as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks," president/general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "John has coached championship teams and is passionate about winning. He has a proven ability to bring the best out of his players and we believe he has all of the qualities to bring our team success."
Tortorella was fired by the Rangers last month following a second-round loss to the Boston Bruins. The Rangers reached the postseason four of the five seasons, including a run to the Eastern Conference finals last year, after the Boston native took over as coach in February 2009.
The 55-year-old captured the Jack Adams Award as the league's top coach in 2004, when he guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup.
Known as an intense coach with a reputation for petulant outbursts, Tortorella has compiled a 410-340-67 career record with 37 ties. He ranks first on the NHL's all-time wins list among American-born coaches.