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John Tortorella Is Not Concerned If He Happens To Be On The Hot Seat

from NHL.com,

John Tortorella said he is not concerned about job security after the Columbus Blue Jackets lost a fifth straight game, 3-1 to the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

"You know what … I never worry about that," Tortorella said. "I do my job the best I can. If people want to make decisions on me, that's their decision. I never worry about that. I go about my business, and I'm going to coach this team the best way I possibly can."

Columbus (8-10-5) is 1-5-2 in its past eight games and is in fifth place in the Discover Central Division. It has scored two goals in the past three games.

Tortorella is in his sixth season with the Blue Jackets. He is 217-149-47 with them and guided them to the first Stanley Cup Playoff series win in their history, a four-game sweep of the No. 1-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 Eastern Conference First Round.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink



There are a lot of good young players there
- though I’m not sure if any rate as potential major stars.

They have two very good goalies on affordable deals
and two excellent prospects coming.

Their defensive depth isn’t what it was, having moved Murray
and Nutivaara seemingly mainly to shed salary.

They got a very good return under pressure for Dubois.
Roslovic looks like a major part of the future even if Laine isn’t.

But that’s one of the problems: whether it’s Tortorella being too abrasive
and demanding, or Kekalainen grinding RFAs in negotiations, or players
simply preferring the biggest cities, beaches, mountains, or a Canadian market,
it adds up to it just being too hard to keep good players. The team profile is higher after some inspiring playoff series. But they still aren’t a top destination to win a Cup.

Josh Anderson apparently didn’t want to sign a long-term deal and combined with his shoulder issues, that forced a trade for Domi who has not fit well at all.

The public discontent around Dubois seems to have carried over.
Something is wrong. The defense has not been the play-driving, point producing
suffocating force of recent seasons. There have been more injuries in goal and both goalies have been up and down when healthy. There’s still a hole at top-six center.

I wonder if guys like Jones and Werenski are thinking ahead to when their contracts are nearing completion - are they going to be the next players put under a microscope re: whether they’re going to stay? Those two guys are key.
Savard’s due to be a UFA. Dubois supposedly didn’t want to commit if other top players might not - leaving him stranded on a mediocre team.

The Jackets dodged a bullet with Bobrovsky and Duchene wanting other destinations. Dzingel wasn’t a priority. Panarin is the only guy who really hurt.
And apparently even Chicago fans knew he wanted to play in NYC.
Ok. But you add in Dubois and Anderson, and it makes the issue of who wants out and who is invested long-term a question and headache that’s not going to go away.

Posted by lefty.30 on 03/01/21 at 01:08 PM ET


Lefty, if you read the interviews with all those higher profile names, they all roundabout say something is off in that org.  Panerin during an interview where he was speaking through a translator,  when asked if there was something about the org that so many players haven’t wanted to play there and before his translator could translate it, he answered in English, good question “with a wry grin”

I don’t know exactly what it is but from the outside it doesn’t look good.  I imagine in player circles reasons are known and shared.

Posted by ThatGuy on 03/01/21 at 01:45 PM ET


Thanks for the insight, TG

It can certainly be true that very good to great players with
lots of options could prefer one two destinations, all things better close to equal
- and that something could be off with CBJ org.

Back in the day it was front office incompetence combined with
a meddling business side of the operation. And simply a terrible time attracting anyone or keeping anyone to a small market with no history which had only lost
and a city and region that didn’t offer more than a nice affordable place to raise a family. And a nice new arena.

I doubt the org wants to spend to the cap if they can avoid it.
Not unless a Cup looks really close. Jarmo is excellent at evaluating and finding talent. But his attitude with contracts seems to be: if you’re an RFA we have the hammer. If you’re headed to UFA and we like you we’ll pay you then. Well what if they are determined to leave by that point? I know the RFA negotiations with Anderson were a headache (same agent as AA) and Anderson held out a little and then put up 26 goals and a ton of hits on a cheap deal. You can meet a guy halfway without being a sucker.

Tortorella can be too personal. Too public. Sometimes he still can’t help himself.

And while the city has grown a lot, it’s not hard to see why guys - especially younger without families - would prefer Miami, NYC, Chicago, LA, Denver, etc.

Posted by lefty.30 on 03/01/21 at 02:39 PM ET


I used to hate Tortorella. But I’ve come around to at least respect what he does with a team. He always seems to get the most out of a group. It’s a pretty heavy-handed approach that wears on some but the results are pretty good.

It does make me wonder if he could get more out of the group in Detroit. I don’t really think he and Yzerman would be a great fit but he wouldn’t put up with some of the crap that takes place on the ice now.

Posted by evileye on 03/01/21 at 04:12 PM ET


I started observing Tortorella casually with a sort of amused fascination when he was with the Rangers, through success in Tampa, and his short and disastrous tenure in Vancouver.

There is no doubt he’s evolved some and is aware he can’t coach
and relate with players or even the media the same way he used to.

For all the ways Blashil can put you to sleep with cliches,
Tortorella is sharp, funny, acerbic.

I think he thinks he treats every player the same way but I’m not sure.
I can imagine getting off on the wrong foot with him or not being his type
at first impression and having a tough time resetting things from there.
I also think he’s sincere about only caring about improving the team and making
each player the best they can be. But there is still a little too much of the old-school
approach of embarrassing players in the media, etc.
I know Bowman did some of that a generation ago and it could work in motivating
players who couldn’t stand him personally.

But I think you’ve really got to be sure you’ve a) exhausted
all other attempts to get through to a guy and b) be sure he can handle it
and you’re not burning a bridge or getting an ever decreasing return when you go that route.

Demanding and intense are great especially when a coach genuinely cares about not only winning but about his players as people and wanting to make them their best. Overall I’m a fan of Torts but still see some signs of him letting ego and media posturing get the best of him.

Posted by lefty.30 on 03/01/21 at 11:32 PM ET

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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.

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