NHL Rumors and Notes: Blue Jackets May Not Have Had Money To Extend Tortorella and He May Not Have Wanted An Extension
The Columbus Blue Jackets may not have had the money to extend John Tortorella before the season. He may have wanted to see how the year played out anyways.
© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports


TSN: Pierre LeBrun noted that Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told the media that John Tortorella has his support and that Kekalainen spoke directly with Torts on Monday.

“But the reason this has become a story is because Tortorella’s deal is up at the end of the season. I hear, and I think it’s interesting, not only Kekalainen confirm on this day that the finances of the pandemic are part of the reason he wasn’t really in a position to extend Tortorella before the year. I personally am not convinced that Tortorella himself was in a position where he wanted to extend before the season either, that maybe he wanted to see how this year played out. It’s an interesting story developing in Columbus”

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: Blue Jackets GM Kekalainen doesn’t think the players have tuned out John Tortorella.

“I’m around every day. I have my antennaes up,” Kekalainen said. “The one thing I know is they all have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a coach. Most of the guys I’ve talked to in the past enjoyed playing for him and really love him and respect him as a coach, and I haven’t seen or heard anything (this year) that would have changed that.”

Tortorella on the vote of the confidence from Kekalainen.

“I appreciate (Kekalainen’s vote of confidence),” he said. “I hate him having to do that, but I appreciate it. I’m not sure what all he said, but we’re all big boys here. When you’re losing games and playing as poorly as we’re playing, those questions need to be asked. I expected those questions to be asked probably earlier.

“But it doesn’t change the way I’m going to coach. I’m going to coach this team to win. I’m not going to coach this team to try and keep my job. That will never change.”