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Demers: Torts may be headed for LA

11

June

Torts Jacques Demers said when he heard coach Marc Crawford was fired by the Kings, he immediately thought John Tortorella, late of the Lightning, would be a perfect fit.

"I don't know this for a fact, by the way," Demers, the former Lightning coach, said in a phone call. "It's an educated guess because John changes things when he goes to a franchise. When you hire John, you hire a very quality coach, so he could change a franchise around very quickly."

There have been all sorts of talk about where Tortorella would land after last week's firing. The Senators seemed a good choice because it has established stars that seem to need just a kick in the butt to get them over the top, and Tortorella certainly has the foot to do that. There also has been talk about the Sharks, another team with a lot of talent. But Tortorella would be replacing Ron Wilson, who is cut from the same cloth as Torts, so, in that sense, perhaps the Sharks want to go in a different direction.

Then, there is the Rangers, where Tortorella was an assistant. New York's Tom Renney is not thought to be in trouble. But the New York Daily News' John Delapina recently said Tortorella would be an addition to the franchise regardless of the position for which he was hired.

As for the Kings, it would be another chance to build a team. Los Angeles tied the Lightning for fewest points last season (though Tampa Bay was last because of fewer wins), and the team has some good young talent such as Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson. Tortorella also would have time to build the team and not have the added pressure of having to win right away, as he would in Ottawa and San Jose. He also would be left relatively in peace by the SoCal media, which doesn't seem to care much about hockey.

"I just think it's a perfect fit for him," said Demers, a television analyst for Canada's RDS. "John is a great coach. I think that teams just needs a little bit of a change, and sometimes a guy like John Tortorella can come in."

We'll see.

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[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]

    

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