Jan 14, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan looks on from the bench against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Rangers beat the Maple Leafs 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Is Rangers Assistant Coach Mike Sillivan A Good Fit with the Canucks?


The Vancouver Canucks have requested and received permission from the New York Rangers to speak with assistant coach Mike Sullivan.

Both Sportsnet’s John Shannon and the New York Post’s Larry Brooks tweeted the news. Brooks says Sullivan is “expected” to join Tortorella in Vancouver.

Sullivan hasn’t been fired from his position with the Rangers, but it was expected he would be relieved of his duties sooner rather than later with Alain Vigneault replacing Tortorella.

Will Sullivan be a good fit with the Canucks? Speaking with the Vancouver Sun, former Canuck and NHLer Brad Lukowich doesn’t think so

Lukowich played for Tortorella in two different stints: first between 2002 and 2004 and then in 2007-08. In his first stint, Craig Ramsay was an assistant coach, but in his second, Ramsay was replaced by Sullivan.

He says Ramsay complimented Tortorella well because he was able to communicate the same thing in a much more restrained manner. Sullivan’s delivery, on the hand, was the same as Tortorella and that didn’t work well for the players.

“[Ramsay] was a great guy for [Tortorella] because [Tortorella] came so hard at guys and [Ramsay] was so good at backing him up and giving the same message but at a less emotional level,” Lukowich told the Vancouver Sun.

“[Sullivan] was a lot like [Tortorella]. It was kind of like beating the same drum. You’d hear it from [Tortorella] and then you’d hear it from the next guy in pretty much the same way. If you made a bad play you heard about it a couple of times the same way, with the same delivery. So I’m not sure the message got across quite as clearly as it did the first time.”

Ramsay is currently an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers working under Kevin Dineen.

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