Detroit Red Wings linked to the worst possible coach for a rebuild

June 4, 2022  (5:17 PM)

It's not news that Steve Yzerman is looking for new blood on the ice, but behind the bench, you need someone who can push your young team, build discipline and develop skill.

However, this veteran coach is a questionable decision as far as hires go.
John Tortorella is part of the aging core of NHL coaches who get to be recycled, every 5 to 10 years. Along with Alain Vigneault, Steve Yzerman hiring him is a harmful idea for his younger players. Why?

Tortorella has achieved success, winning a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, and taking the New York Rangers to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013, while earning a playoff spot most recently with the Columbus Blue Jackets where he led the team to four trips to the post-season in the playoffs.
He will whip a team into a disciplined defensive threat when there is buy-in and an example of this is how the Blue Jackets in 2019 dismantled the President's Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning offense in the playoffs. However, his style of offense is antiquated with the dump and chase being the primary "driver" if you can call it that of offense.
GM Steve Yzerman indicated he will be open-minded when it comes to choosing a replacement for Jeff Blashill. He's not looking for a specific type of coach. However, one of the team's priorities is improving the team's defensive ability. Last season, the Red Wings ranked last in dangerous scoring chances given up. They were second-to-last in with a 3.78 goals-against average.

In Columbus, Tortorella wore out his welcome 6 years in and he pushed the team to be better, but at what cost? Brandon Dubinsky countered the showering of praise of his Blue Jackets teammates recently:
«I was thrilled with the trade,» Dubinsky said. «I loved New York and I liked being on a winning team. So I didn't like getting traded to the worst team in the league. But me and John Tortorella (then the Rangers' coach) were a shit show during my last year in New York.

«It wasn't a good year. We weren't getting along. I didn't agree with the decisions he was making for me, so for me, Columbus was a fresh start. I was energized and excited.

«Listen, I did what I was asked because that's my job,» Dubinsky said. «I wasn't happy with it. I also had a responsibility to my teammates. That's how I looked at it. But I stopped looking at it like coming to the rink was something fun to do, and I started seeing it as a chore.

«All the things I loved about playing hockey and being in the NHL, it all went away. Everything just became harder.
This is the only John Tortorella controversy, along with his comments regarding the national anthem he had to walk back, and his racist comments towards Anthony Duclair don't bode well in the atmosphere of today's NHL.
Not to mention, how quickly the team peaked in points over 3 years and in the last 3 declined over time.
Choosing Tortorella would be a mistake, and Yzerman needs to look to his most recent past as far as a head coach goes, not someone who thinks Connor McDavid scoring goals is a bad thing.