The NHL has passed down their verdict: John Tortorella will receive a 15 day suspension for his role in the ruckus that occurred on Saturday, January 18th, when the Vancouver Canucks took on the Calgary Flames. He will miss six games in total. Tortorella is not allowed to have any contact with his club for the entire fifteen days.
In the words of Colin Campbell: “Coaches in the NHL bear the responsibility of providing leadership, even when emotions run high, and Mr. Tortorella failed in his responsibility to the game.”
So Canuck fans, it looks like we will be without Torts for the next few weeks. So who will take his place? The injured Henrik? Nope. Mike Sullivan, Torts right-hand man, will assume the reigns.
For those of you with little or no background knowledge of Sullivan, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to provide this brief bio:
Sullivan was born in Marshfield, Massachusetts in 1968, making him a fairly young coach at 45. He was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1987, but did not play his first game in the NHL until the 1991-92 season, playing for the San Jose Sharks. He would go on to play 709 games in the NHL before retiring in 2002.
Sullivan moved directly from playing into a coaching position. He was given control of the Boston Bruin’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins coaching them for one year before being called up to work in the NHL. He was the head coach of the Boston Bruins for the 2004-05 and the 2005-06 seasons, before being fired by Peter Chiarelli at the end of the Bruins unproductive 2006 season.
In 2007 he served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s team at the 2007 World Championships in Russia.
He was hired by the Tampa Bay Lightening, as an assistant coach to John Tortorella, for the 2007-08 season. After Tortorella moved to New York in the middle of the 2008-09 season, Sullivan was hired that July to resume his assistant coach responsibilities. He would continue with Tortorella until they were both let go by the organization at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.
When the Vancouver Canucks hired Tortorella during the 2013 off-season, Torts made sure that Sullivan came with him.
Sullivan has a wife and three children.
The Canuck players claim he is slightly easier to talk to then the surly Tortorella. “They see the game the same way,” says Alexander Burrows. “I think [Sullivan] is a little bit more rational, more laid back a little bit than Torts. But I think he has got some fire in him too, and if he needs to get the boys going, that’s what he’ll do.”
Glen Gulutzan will assist Sullivan. Bio to come…