After all we’d seen, heard and been conditioned to believe, John Tortorella has been such a disappointment with the Vancouver Canucks. Thirteen games into the regular season, he hasn’t screamed at any reporters, referees or players on his bench. The only guy he has yelled at is Keith Acton, and the Edmonton Oilers’ assistant coach deserved it. A warning to reporters about their cellphones? That’s the most volatile Torts has been? We remember worse from Tom Renney. All Tortorella does is just stand behind the bench and ... and ... coach. We can’t even tell what that Mona Lisa grin of his means most of the time. And, yet, no Canuck had a better road trip than Tortorella. Well, maybe Henrik Sedin did. That and other random thoughts as the 8-4-1 Canucks, after a full weekend off thanks to Torts-the-magnanimous, open a three-game homestand tonight against the Washington Capitals. KA-CHING: During contract negotiations, great players rarely get cheaper when the general manager waits. With their performance on the Canucks’ 5-1-1 road odyssey, which finished with back-to-back wins in St. Louis and New Jersey, Daniel and Henrik Sedin may have added another year and a half-million per season to their next deals. Although general manager Mike Gillis and agent J.P. Barry have maintained a publicity blackout, the sides are believed to be periodically chipping away at an extension for the twins, who are eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season. If Henrik plays the final 69 games like he has the first 13, he’ll win the Hart Trophy if Sidney Crosby gets hurt. The Canuck captain had points in all seven games on the trip, inching into second in National Hockey League scoring before Sunday’s schedule, and in its final 28 hours logged 50:47 of ice time. Sedin’s 25:04 of playing time Friday in St. Louis and 25:53 Thursday in New Jersey were the busiest regular-season nights in his 13-year career. Daniel, who had two goals and five points in the seven games, set a career-high with 25:25 in New Jersey before taking it easy with 24:06 on Friday. Henrik and Daniel averaged 19:21 and 19:01 last season. With a new coach, new system and a pile of injuries, the Sedins have never seemed more important to the Canucks in October. The notion held by some that GM Mike Gillis somehow might get the 33-year-olds to accept a two- or three-year deal at close to their current salaries of $6.1 million seems nonsensical. Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel, outscored by the Sedins over the last three seasons, recently signed for $8 million per year and Detroit Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk, who is 35, has a new three-year extension worth $7.5-million annually starting next season. The Sedins were never going to come cheap. And they’re getting less so by the week.
Canucks open a homestand after winning for coach John Tortorella
Vancouver Sun | Oct 28