A little timeline info. Take it for what it is worth.
The decision was made 3-4 weeks ago that MG was not going to be back. Talks with Linden began as casual conversation around that time. Nothing firm offered just conversation. Somehow MG got word that these talks were going on and the writing was on the wall although nothing official. Cue the MG interview. Trevor was offered the position officially several days before MG was fired. I don't know what several days means though.
The original plan or thought was to wait until the season was over. Two things happened. One, season ticket sales are down by, one figure I have heard, as much and 7000 tickets. The other was the MG presser which was a shot across the bow of the Aquos. As soon as the team was eliminated, mostly based upon season ticket sales, they acted quickly. By this time MG had heard all the rumblings. Given that he played this game himself when Nonis was here I'm sure he knew exactly what was up.
Linden asked for and received several days to think on it and do his own internal assessment as to whether he wanted this job at this time. The final decision was made before MG was fired, all that was left was the waiting.
The method is an Aquos signature. Having said that I have worked for, with a lot of people who operate this way. And there is something to be said about having a transition plan in place before you act. At least this time they were more transparent about it. None of this trying to pretend it was an exhaustive search.
FA has said since day one, failing to make the playoffs is not an option. I think had they made the playoffs MG may have been given one more year. But the wheels fell off in a hurry. There was serious internal strife on a lot of levels. Trying to get more on that. But I guess the bottom line is when you begin the slide everything goes to hell quickly.
Prior to the big Cali road trip and the subsequent Calgary game, the players were very supportive of Torts. What some of us thought or hoped was a galvanizing moment, a team searching for an identity, was perceived by many as an embarrassment. The response during that road trip did not sit well with a number of players who saw it more as a loss of composure than a statement. Torts going ape shit before the start of the Calgary game and at the end of the first period lost the room. One player described it as very confusing. The players didn't really understand what he was so triggered by.
During his suspension there was general dislike for Sullivan. By then I think Torts lost the room and the respect of a number of players. There was internal talk, not sure how serious it was, about dismissing Torts then. I am lead to believe that a former GM favoured letting Torts go but I am still trying to get more juice on that one.
Once the wheels fell off the general perception was that Torts had no real idea how to stop the slide. His relationship with MG was not a strong one in the end. I was told today that Torts has very little support left among the players. He very quickly went from being well like and having full support to being tuned out and not respected.
If this is accurate I fully expect that Linden will get, if he doesn't already have, very frank feedback. I believe he has the authority to remove Torts if that is the case. It was one thing he insisted upon, was full hockey operations autonomy. I think he has been given that. How it plays out over the years we will see. But I think Torts and his entire staff will be history soon.
The people I talked to today said they would be shocked, stunned, if Torts was back. But then I was told that about AV, when Nonis was fired
The general feedback has been very positive and optimistic. I also think the Aquos will be going out of their way to improve their image and will do what they can to remove the meddling owner stigma. Bottom line, it's business and their business is taking a huge hit right now, or at least the threat for that to happen is there.