Tortorella to coach at Worlds
So, as we read in today's paper, Lightning coach John Tortorella has been chosen by USA Hockey to coach in this year's World Championships in Canada. Word is he is bringing associate coach Mike Sullivan with him.
Double-edged sword, here. It's a nice honor to have that on your resume, but it also means your team is not going to the NHL playoffs, since the tournament in Halifax and Quebec begins May 2.
Be that as it may, seems Torts and USA Hockey are on the same page when it comes to their vision for the panel. Torts talked to the organization and it's four-GM panel about stocking the team with younger, hungrier players than the older players that have been a signature of USA teams in the past. That is a good thing. That is the kind of team from which Torts can get the most.
This also is kind of an audition for Torts, who is a leading candidate to coach the United States at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
USA Hockey declined to comment, pending a soon-to-be-made announcement, and the Lightning would not comment in deference to USA Hockey's process. But an announcement is to be made soon.
Imagine the scene if the United States knocks Russia out of the semifinals. Torts at his postgame press conference. "It looks good on 'em,'' he will say. "I never liked that organization.''
Those of you who recall his statements after the recent Panthers game will get that. For the rest: it's a joke.
It will be Tortorella's first head coaching gig internationally, having been an associate to Peter Laviolette at the 2005 World Championships in Austria. Sullivan was an associate under Laviolette at the 2006 Turin Olympics and the head coach at the 2007 World Championships in Russia.