John Tortorella is a Lock for the Jack Adams Award

Nov 21, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks on during a stop in play in the second at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks on during a stop in play in the second at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella has lead the team to the top of the Eastern Conference this year. With the season winding down and we look towards award winners, Tortorella is the most worthy of Coach of the Year. Here’s why.

The story of John Tortorella and the 2016-2017 Columbus Blue Jackets is almost too cliché to love. High profile, but cast aside coach comes to a town that has never seen a real winner. Coach whips team full of youngsters and crusty veterans into shape. Team then takes league by storm. This is the stuff Hollywood writes that we scoff at as being too unbelievable. Thankfully this is all real. Tortorella is at the helm of a Blue Jackets team that has a shot at the President’s Trophy.

While the rest of the hockey world laughed at his hire, and many were hoping his time as coach would go up in flames, Jackets fans had no choice but to buy in. What else were we suppose to do? The team had been through so much loosing that taking a chance on a guy like Torts didn’t feel risky at all. Sure he has a temper, but you know what else he has, a Stanley Cup. It took half a season and a grueling training camp but here we are in March sitting near the top of the conference. If you aren’t already convinced, here is a few more reason’s why Tortorella should win his second Jack Adams award.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

Team Success

You cannot win the award for best coach if your team is not one of the best. This is true every year. What makes this year special is the turnaround. The Jackets have been so irrelevant over the past 17 years it has worn on the fan base. Tortorella is the shot in the arm this city needed. He is the first coach behind the bench that has a little personality and fire to his game. This tenacity has flowed right into the players.

The group is largely made up of young skaters and a few veterans who have logged some serious playoff minutes. In simpler terms, this team is perfect for John Tortorella. Results have backed up that claim. With 17 games remaining the Jackets have accumulated 90 points on the season, and are five points back from the top of the league. Talk of Torts winning the Jack Adams Award started to gain traction during the unforgettable winning streak of 16 games. The sustained success of this team is what will cement him as the winner.

Tortorella Evolving

What has factored into this success? Many things. The success of our young players, the power play not being an embarrassment, and of course Sergei Bobrovsky returning to Vezina Trophy winner form all have contributed to this year’s high level of play. What has kept all those things going sustainability? Tortorella being a player’s coach. I said it. Torts is a guy the players will skate through a wall if he told them to. A player’s coach doesn’t have to be soft and cuddly, lord knows that’s not Tortorella. A player’s coach is someone the players can trust and be honest with. This season, that has been Torts.

Early in the year it was announced he wouldn’t hold morning skates. The hockey media looked at this inquisitively. Had John Tortorella gotten soft? No, he had become smarter. Morning skates only purpose is letting guys sweat the booze out from the night before. The modern NHL is not that type of league anymore. Let the boys sleep and charge up for the game at night. The move has paid huge dividend.

As the season dragged on through the dog days of the season and the team faced a bit of adversity, Tortorella never lost his cool. Canadian media members would try their best to bait Torts into a classic post game out burst. He never wavered. This is by all accounts a different coach. A seasoned coach. A coach that wants to be on top again.

Related Story: Tortorella Should Limit Bobrovsky's Rest Down the Stretch

Redemption Story

As I mentioned above this season has been straight out of a sports movie catalog. If there is anything members of the NHL media love it’s a good story. Torts taking the Jackets to the top is just that. You couldn’t convince anyone at the start of the year this would happen, even in Columbus! Now that the team has been consistently successful after being so awful. the award has to go to John Tortorella.

The turnaround of the team and franchise almost mirrors Torts himself. He was out of the league three years ago and no one would touch him. Except the Jackets. The two needed each other. Now we have a match made in hockey heaven. The best part? The story is still being written. Stop the season right now and I would call it all a success. If the team keeps winning into April, watch out. You might want to buy the rights to this story now before some one else does.