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John Davidson Took A Chance When Hiring John Tortorella

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

John Tortorella is the odds-on favourite to win the NHL coach of the year honours, which may surprise some people, but not John Davidson, who never lost faith. Davidson is the Columbus Blue Jackets’ president of hockey operations and currently oversees the NHL’s most unexpected early-season success story. The Blue Jackets entered Friday’s game with the Calgary Flames with the fewest regulation losses in the league (five) and boast a winning percentage of better than .700, both at home and on the road....

Davidson eventually got into the hockey business, first with St. Louis, then with Columbus, and in both cases helped to oversee turnarounds in organizations with massive credibility issues. But Davidson tested the limits of his own credibility by going to bat for Tortorella. Davidson trusted him – and more importantly, he trusted that Tortorella would not go off the deep end the way he had in previous NHL stops with the Rangers and the Canucks, which eventually created irreconcilable differences with the management and ownership of those teams.

Davidson remembered how Tortorella led the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup championship and how he got the Rangers to block shots so consistently. And he understood why so polarizing a figure had also earned the most NHL victories of any U.S.-born coach.

“John really wanted to coach again – he wanted one more kick at it,” said Davidson. “We did extensive research and talked to the really good players and people he’d coached with – and there were zero negatives. I knew the man, which is different than the perception of him that’s out there.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+davidson, john+tortorella

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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