It hasn’t be easy for the Columbus Blue Jackets since the start of the season, however, it’s not hard to say that things have been quite worse since the team traded Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets.
Patrik Laine has made his Jackets debut since, but has struggled so much that he was benched for the third period of Monday’s 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes after skating 11:14 in the first two frames. Torteralla didn’t explain why he sat his star player after the game.
“That’s gonna stay in house,” Tortorella told reporters, per Sportsnet. “It wasn’t because of the missed assignment. There’s a number of things that come into play with that. That will stay in the locker room. It’s what I feel I need to do … Honestly, that’s the last thing I want to do but if I think I need to do it then I need to do it.”
Of course, Torts was once again under fire for his controversial coaching tactics, and then, the Jackets were hit again by another news when beloved veteran forward Mikko Koivu announced that he was leaving the time, retiring after just seven games with Columbus.
“This was not an easy decision for me as I have loved every minute of my short time in Columbus and really hoped to be able to help this team accomplish its goals this season, but the bottom line is I haven’t been able to get to the level of play that I need to be true to myself and fair to my teammates, so the time is right for me to retire from hockey,” Koivu said in a statement.
That’s another blow to the Blue Jackets and some fans cannot imagine anything else happening to this already eventful season. However, Aaron Portzline, who covers the Blue Jackets for The Athletic, revealed on the air of TSN 690 on Tuesday that he “thinks John Tortorella might want out of Columbus himself, which could be why he benched Patrik Laine last night for the entire third period.”
This would be another thing for the Jackets to deal with as the team struggles to keep its head above water in this shortened season.
We wonder if Torts will make another controversial move to get himself out the door in Columbus or if he’ll prove he wants to remain the head coach of the Blue Jackets despite all the hard times.