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John Tortorella unleashes his wrath on Rutherford and Johnson

July 2, 2018, 9:24 AM ET [16 Comments]
Aivis Kalnins
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When Jack Johnson signed his new contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins some people celebrated some wanted to throw up in their mouth. Five-year, $16.25 million deal was announced on Sunday, July 1st when the NHL free agency got underway.

In the introductory press conference, both Rutherford and Johnson said a few things that they might not have needed to say turning the tables and sound like the Columbus Jackets have internal issues such as perhaps a toxic locker room.

Obviously, former teams head coach John Tortorella isn't the one to keep his mouth shut and wasn't too keen on what was said bursting out to respond to the comments made by the Penguins player and executive.

"All I know is, this organization, from the lawyers, the front office, J.D. (John Davidson), the managers, the coaches, players … has done nothing but try to help Jack," Tortorella told The Athletic. "And for him to backhand slap us like this is utter bulls--t, and he should know better.

"No one wishes anything bad to happen to him and his family. We wish him the best. But for him to put it the way he put it today is bulls--t. And to have a general manager question our decision-making from three hours away, he must be a f-----g magician."


It's apparent that the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach pointed out the off-ice issues that the defenseman has been struggling with. In 2014 he was forced to file for bankruptcy following his family screwed up the financial side of his life trusting them to oversee and control his finances.

Tortorella gave a virtual beatdown to the ''ungrateful'' Johnson comment even further.


"That's what pisses me off," he said. "He doesn't have enough balls to call me back, because I've tried to get in touch with him. You don't shit on an organization that's done nothing but try to help you. We all know Jack has had some problems along the way here; it's very well-chronicled. All we've done is try to f-----g help him.

"I love the f-----g guy (Johnson). I've had him on the Olympic team. I get him on the World Cup team. I love the guy. But for him to do this is ridiculous. He has got to start pointing the finger at himself, not other people.


Obviously, Johnson had to react and clear things up giving them his own response to The Athletic.

"I didn't mean it in any way, shape or form as a backhand towards Columbus," Johnson told The Athletic. "It's just … Pittsburgh's won two (Stanley) Cups in the last three years, and there's a winning culture there. I didn't mean it in any way to insult the Blue Jackets at all."
...
"When I first came to Columbus (2012), I was looking forward to helping create a winning culture, help build it," he said. "I've had a wonderful time in Columbus. I met my wife there, started a family there, nothing but great friends and relationships there. I believe they have a winning culture there. All I meant was, I'm excited to be part of Pittsburgh's winning culture."
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