Reports suggest that Tortorella is actually trying to get himself fired in Columbus

Torts wants out!?


It hasn't exactly been a textbook start to the 2021 season for the Columbus Blue Jackets and head coach John Tortorella. The man they call Torts had a very public spat with former 3rd overall pick Pierre-Luc Dubois, which ended with Dubois being shipped to the Winnipeg Jets in a blockbuster trade for Finnish sniper Patrik Laine. 

All good, right? 

Think again...

Stop me if you've heard this one before but now Tortorella is under fire for benching Laine earlier this week. In effect, Tortorella is using the same tough love strategy with Laine that he used with Dubois. And how'd that work out, Torts?

It's almost as if the guy is out to self-sabotage himself...

In fact, that's exactly what NHL insider Elliotte Friedman addressed in his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet. Friedman reports that there's a "theory Tortorella wants out" and that he's trying to force the Blue Jackets to fire him.

From Friedman:

Tortorella said Laine’s benching “wasn’t because of the missed assignment” on Brock McGinn’s 2–2 goal Monday night, and multiple sources indicate it happened when Laine blew off one of the coaches who tried to talk to him about it. Tortorella has his code, and that would violate it.
There’s a theory Tortorella wants out, that he’s forcing the Blue Jackets to fire him. Everything I hear is that’s absolutely not the case — he feels a loyalty to the organization and the players there who’ve supported him to find a way to overcome all the challenges they’ve faced. I can see Kekalainen wanting to turn down the temperature, end the drama and just play. Columbus is very much in the race, although COVID-related shutdowns have them and surprising Chicago way ahead in games played.

I gotta say, I'm not buying this theory. Like Friedman points out, Tortorella speaks and acts like a loyal soldier when it comes to the Blue Jackets. And while the guy probably isn't the most popular coach in the world, the fact of the matter is that he does have players who love him. Even more important though is the guy gets results. I mean, this is a team who lost its two biggest stars in Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky two offseasons ago and they've actually managed to improve in spite of the losses of these two players. Love him or hate him, Torts is a fantastic coach and I'd have to imagine that a LOT of teams would come calling if the Blue Jackets elect to part ways with him.