Kukla's Korner Hockey
“They had the salary dispute last year, and I really thought they worked hard to put it behind them. This is what Tortorella does. He takes his best players and he challenges them. They’ve questioned [Johansen's] will, his determination to put in the work that he needs to do to reach that level of talent. And I think what this has done is shown as an organization they don’t believe he’s anywhere close to being where he needs to be.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think they trust him. And that’s why I think they’re going to trade him."
-Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet on Ryan Johansen. More from Friedman by Scott Lewis of Sportsnet.
from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,
Which teams are ideal fits for Johansen based on what they need and what they can offer the Jackets? Consider these five destinations:...
1. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers have the perfect combination of (a) being a bubble team in need of a boost to make the playoffs; (b) possessing some young-ish centers who could head to Columbus in a Johansen swap and (c) loaded with blueline prospects, one of which they could easily spare.
Let’s boot up the fantasy trade machine. Say Philadelphia wants Johansen but wouldn’t dare part with Sean Couturier up front or blue-chip D-men Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere. How about center Brayden Schenn, a 24-year-old pending RFA who still has some upside, plus Travis Sanheim or Samuel Morin? It would be the steep price any Johansen swap would be expected to command. And it would improve both teams’ outlooks. The Jackets could one day ice a top unit of Brandon Saad, Brayden Schenn and Nick Foligno, anchored by up-and-coming blueliners Sanheim and Zach Werenski for years to come. The Flyers would suddenly have one of the league’s best center tandems in Johansen and Giroux.
Tortorella on Johansen: "He's an important guy to our organization. This is a reset for him, in understanding what we're looking ... "
"... for, not just in the points but in the play. You can't look at it as a punishment; it's part of the process for him."
Tortorella said Johansen will be shown video to illustrate what #CBJ are looking for in his play.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
Don't think I've ever seen this before, but these Blue Jackets are nothing if not original in the depths they can mine with their chronic losing.
The Blue Jackets dressing room remained closed for at least 12-15 minutes after the game because the players had called a meeting after their latest loss, a 5-1 shellacking by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday in American Airlines Center.
"The time is now," Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. "There’s enough talking, enough of everything. It’s about results. This is a results driven business and we have to find a way. Every individual in here has to dig a little deeper and make sure we’re doing everything necessary to pull ourselves out of this."...
Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen played a lethargic first two periods. Many of his passes were way off-line, and there were several neutral-zone turnovers and failed clearing attempts. I've seen suburbanites skate harder on the Columbus Zoo's holiday pond.
No surprise, then, that Johansen was benched for the third period, playing a season-low 11:03.
"Coach's decision," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. He declined to elaborate.
The puck stops just before crossing the goal line.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Last season gave Blue Jackets management a bromide to drink and a pill to swallow. The bromide was a 15-1-1 flourish at the end of a season in which the team lost 508 man-games to injury. The pill was an amalgam of garish defensive statistics — the Jackets allowed more goals than all but five teams in the NHL and more shots than all but two teams — and another spring without playoff hockey.
John Davidson, president of hockey operations, and Jarmo Kekalainen, the general manager, drank the bromide. They did not swallow the pill.
Davidson said it in April: “We have a real good thing going on. Two and a half years ago, we were 30th in the league. (Last season) we were 16 games over .500 from Dec. 1 on, and we can be even better than that.”
Kekalainen said in September: “I know one thing going in — we’re healthy. So, that’s a real strong improvement for us.”
Clearly, there was still something wrong with the Jackets, who started 0-8 and got their coach fired. They are a cap team, to the point where they have to make two or three transactions before they can even think of making a waiver claim on goaltender Anton Khudobin. If you are a Jackets fan, you thank the owner for writing big checks and you wonder how the money has been spent.
from Rick Westhead of TSN.
Bankrupt NHL defenceman Jack Johnson, reduced to clipping coupons as he navigates his way through bankruptcy, has decided not to pursue a lawsuit against his spendthrift parents, according to court filings.
Documents recently filed in U.S. bankruptcy court detail the ongoing feud between Johnson and the loan companies who charge he owes them millions of dollars.
Johnson’s relationship with his parents Jack Sr. and Kristina has been “devastated” by his bankruptcy, the court filings say, but he has decided not to sue them because they “are trying to make enough money to live” and he’s unlikely to recover money or assets from them.
The court papers also describe what Johnson did after he learned in 2014 from the Columbus Blue Jackets - not his parents - about his financial problems.
from Gary Lawless of TSN,
The persona had swallowed the person whole.
Somewhere between hoisting a Stanley Cup in Tampa and a disastrous one-season run in Vancouver, we stopped seeing John Tortorella the hockey coach.
All we saw was Torts - a bristling, fuming caricature; a human blowtorch with a penchant for burning so fiercely that it couldn’t possibly last.
Passion is one thing. Logic-clouding fury is another.
“It’s a double-edged sword with John. It’s what makes him great and what gets him in trouble,” said Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “I love the passion. He shows passion every day, to learn and to get better as a coach. But it can go too far and John knows that. We didn’t even have to bring it up. It was the first thing he said when we starting talking to him about the job. He admitted he’d made mistakes but said he’d learned from them and it was time to move on.”
Torts can take a team a certain distance, but there’s a defined expiration date on that coach. But what about John Tortorella? Can he, once a championship coach and a man who loves to teach, keep his inner dragon on a leash? The early returns in Columbus say yes and we may be watching the prelude to a bravo second act.
Courtesy FSN, John Tortorella took to the podium on Tuesday to express his utter embarrassment on behalf of himself and the team over how the LA Kings made the Blue Jackets look like boys among men.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
It was hard to watch the Blue Jackets play last night against the Los Angeles Kings without wondering how ugly the score would have been – 5-1? 6-1? 8-1? – if not for the wizardry of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
With 5:35 remaining, when Bobrovsky left the game with an apparent upper-body injury, the rest of the Blue Jackets got what they deserved.
The Kings, facing backup Curtis McElhinney, scored an extra-attacker goal w 1:27 remaining to force overtime (Jeff Carter), then ended it with 26.5 seconds remaining in 3-on-3 play (Alec Martinez), claiming a well-earned 3-2 win before 15,633 in Nationwide Arena.
Bobrovsky will be evaluated today. So too, yet again, will the Blue Jackets’ character, heart, willpower, etc., all those high-quality hockey traits that seem to come and go with stunning regularity in Columbus.
Game highlights are below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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