VANCOUVER (AFP) – John Tortorella was named coach of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, completing what turned out to be a swap of coaches with the New York Rangers.
Four days after ex-Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was named coach of the Rangers, Vancouver announced Tortorella was taking his place guiding a team that won a Northwest Division crown but lost to San Jose in the first round of the playoffs.
"John has coached championship teams and is passionate about winning," Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis said. "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, 55, was fired by the Rangers last month after they were ousted by Boston in the second round of the NHL playoffs.
New York reached the playoffs in four of the past five seasons and reached last year's Eastern Conference finals during Tortorella's stint as coach, which began in February of 2009.
Tortorella, who was named the NHL's top coach in 2004 when he guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup title, has a record of 410-340-67 and has the most wins of American-born coaches in NHL history.