Tortorella tried to leave the Blue Jackets one year earlier.

Tortorella could see which way the wind was blowing.


The Columbus Blue Jackets had something of a disastrous season and the changes they've already made since the end of the regular season are an indication of that. One of the biggest changes the team has made so far has been the decision to part ways with head coach John Tortorella, but apparently had things been left up to the head coach himself the move would have happened one year earlier.

Columbus Blue Jackets insider Aaron Portzline has now revealed that Tortorella actually tried to leave the team at the end of the 2019 - 2020 season, but was placed in an awkward position by the team that resulted in him staying on for an extra season. Specifically,it would appear as though following the Blue Jackets exit from the playoff bubble in Toronto, Tortorella would have informed the team of his desire to step down.

The Blue Jackets however would have refused to fire Tortorella, a move that would have left them on the hook for the remaining year of salary on his contract while he sat at home and instead would have moved him to a different role within the organization. The combination of this, Tortorella's desire to coach and an apparent plea on the part of Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno reportedly led to Tortorella staying on behind the bench for one year in spite of the fact that he no longer believed in the direction of the team.

One has to wonder now if all the parties involved in pushing Tortorella to stay on for an additional season do not feel a certain measure of regret for doing so. There's no question that Tortorella himself took a bit of a hit to his reputation after public spats with both Pierre Luc Dubois and Patrik Laine turned ugly, and it would seem that the other parties involved didn't fare any better. Nick Foligno is now the former Blue Jackets captain and playing playoff hockey as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs after being traded, although there has been speculation he could return as a free agent, and the Blue Jackets themselves were forced into trading their number one centerman and finished near the bottom of the league after the regular season.

It seems very much like, based on this report, Tortorella had seen the writing on the wall while others failed to do.