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John Tortorella quieter, calm in Vancouver, Canucks GM says

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

John Tortorella taking a kinder, gentler approach in Vancouver, GM says. (USATSI)
John Tortorella taking a kinder, gentler approach in Vancouver, GM says.(USATSI)

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John Tortorella is all bluster. At least that's the perception he created for himself over parts of five seasons as the head coach of the New York Rangers. Now that he's in Vancouver, however, the perception surrounding Tortorella may be changing, at least internally.

According to Canucks general manager Mike Gillis, Tortorella's tenure as Vancouver's head coach so far has been “an invigorating exercise with a fresh approach.” More from the Vancouver Province:

“He's got a good sense of humor about it all and is just a lot quieter and calm,” Gillis said. “He's a very good coach and doing things behind the bench through the course of a game to change momentum — and to keep momentum.

“It was a difficult transition to go through, but it's also one that I've enjoyed after the fact. I really like the way he's handling the team.”

Quieter and calm? This is the same John Tortorella we're talking about here, right?

Outside of a light-hearted threat to walk when a reporter's cell phone went off during a press conference, we haven't really seen any Mt. Torts eruptions this year. Of course, it's early in a season with a new team where everyone is trying to find their way, so there's time. Also, perhaps Tortorella hasn't been around the Vancouver media long enough to grow frustrated enough to blow his top.

Obviously, Tortorella's dealings with the press aren't as important as his private dealings with his players. The coach reportedly wore out his welcome with some of his charges with the Rangers. He's still getting to know his team at this point, so one would expect a bit more of a reserved approach.

The Canucks haven't gotten off to the best start, but 5-4-1 isn't so bad either, especially considering this is a team in transition.

Tortorella has made some bold moves already by splitting up Daniel and Henrik Sedin at times. So it doesn't look like Tortorella is holding back any internally.

Also, a lot of Tortorella's trade-mark rants as a coach have come when his team was in need of a break. Say what you will about Tortorella, but he was a master of turning the focus on himself when times were tough for his players. There may come a time in Vancouver when such a distraction is necessary, but he's making the right person happy in his general manager for now.

Quiet and calm might not be the most fun for us folks on the outside, but it apparently is working inside the Canucks' organization, and that's probably all that matters to Tortorella.

(h/t Pro Hockey Talk)

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