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Blue Jackets extend John Tortorella

September 13, 2018, 7:56 AM ET [4 Comments]
Paul Berthelot
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
After extending their Hockey Ops department, you knew it wasn’t going to be long before the Jackets extended Head Coach John Tortorella. Wednesday morning Torts received a two-year extension.

Tortorella has done a phenomenal job with this team since taking over early on in the 2015-16 season. He’s coached the Blue Jackets to a 129-87-23 record, including winning the Jack Adams in 2016-17.

More importantly than the team’s record itself, is how they got there. This isn’t your traditional John Tortorella block every shot team. He’s adapted to the league and the players have thrived. Seth Jones and Zach Werenski are given the freedom to take the puck and skate with it. They aren’t benched for taking the puck deep behind the net. Tortorella may say he doesn’t know about analytics but he’s a huge proponent for scoring chances.

Torts doesn’t blow up in the media like he used to, but some of that fire is still there, and much like the front office isn’t afraid to make a big move if he feels it’s the right one. Numerous times over his tenure we have seen him benching veterans, or not handing rookies ice-time. Every player no matter how many years you have been in the league you have to earn your ice and if you aren’t performing then you will sit. We’ve seen that with Scott Hartnell two seasons ago in the playoffs, and saw it last season with Brandon Dubinsky.

It’s funny when Tortorella was first hired everyone sort of assumed he was a stop gap. Someone who could get the team out of their 0-8-0 tailspin and get them on the right track. Tortorella did that plus so much more. He’s become a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, he’s embraced the city and there are very few coaches I would want over him leading this team.

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