John Tortorella’s plane had barely touched down in B.C., but Don Cherry feels he already knows what priority No. 1 should be for the former New York Rangers head coach.
With rumours swirling surrounding the 54-year-old potentially taking over behind the Vancouver Canucks’ bench, Cherry said he should primarily be focused on protecting a certain set of twins, should Tortorella end up heading out West on a permanent basis.
The candid Coach’s Corner commentator used his Saturday night segment to voice why he thought helping create space for the Sedin twins needed to be at the top of Tortorella’s agenda.
"John, if you’re going out [to Vancouver] and I guess you are going out there, you’ve got to get somebody to take care of [Henrik and Daniel] Sedin, because they’re good in the regular season," said Cherry. "They are zero in the playoffs because of one thing; I could show guys knocking them around or rag-dolling them. You’ve got to get them protected.
"We see it tonight [Game 5 between Boston and Chicago], you have to [get guys to protect them], or they’re not going anywhere again [in the playoffs]."
The Canucks fizzled out in the first round of the post-season for the second straight year as they got swept by the sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks last month, ultimately leading to the dismissal of long-time head coach Alain Vigneault.
The Sedin twins were the subject of media scrutiny during and after the series, combining for zero goals, six assists, and a minus-2 rating in four games.
But Tortorella, widely known for his abrasive relationship with members of the media and outspoken personality, will have to tone it down or he’ll be in for a rude awakening in Vancouver, according to Cherry.
"There will be a lot of stuff going on out there [in Vancouver], but I’ll tell you one thing, Tortorella won’t push around those writers, [including The Province columnist Tony] Gallagher out there," said Cherry. "He’d better mind his P’s and Q’s because they’re pretty tough in Vancouver."
Vigneault good fit for Rangers
As for Tortorella’s predecessor, Cherry thinks the Rangers made a shrewd move in bringing him in to the fold, adding it will be a breath fresh air for the reporters who cover the team.
"It’s a great move by [the Rangers] and [Vigneault] will be great there too," said Cherry, "And it should really be good for New York after the way Tortorella acted because [Vigneault] is a good speaker."
Cherry also liked hire of Lindy Ruff to the Dallas Stars
"Perfect. Lindy Ruff could have gone anywhere, and would have been great, he’s a great coach. By the way, you notice they’re getting the guys who are experienced and their papers call them retreads. They tried the young guys and they didn’t work out, a lot of them, guys with experience [is the way to go] for sure."