- Craig Custance
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BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis declined to comment Wednesday about the future of coach John Tortorella, whose team is suffering a free fall down the standings.
"That's rumor and speculation," Gillis said late Wednesday morning, on the final day of the general managers meetings. "I'm not commenting on that because then it just lends credibility to what's out there with bloggers and all kinds of different people. So it's unfair to comment on any future plans other than what we've already said, which is we're trying to get younger, we're trying to retool and we're trying to do some things differently the next one, three, five years."
The question remains whether or not Tortorella, in the first year of a five-year deal, will be a part of the retooling going on in Vancouver. The team has been hit by injuries this season but also has responded negatively since Tortorella was suspended for his altercation outside the Calgary Flames dressing room during the first intermission of a late-January game.
Since that game, the Canucks are just 5-12-1 (including Wednesday night's 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets) and are outside a playoff spot.
"We had an incident in January that was hard to describe," Gillis said. "The ebb and flow in this season has been as challenging as it's ever been. There's reasons for it -- multiple reasons for it -- but currently, right now, we're not meeting my expectations, we're not meeting a lot of expectations, and that has to change."
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