As the Columbus Blue Jackets do their best to bounce back this season, all eyes have been on head coach John Tortorella. Many believed that with his poor handling of holding players accountable, that he could be on his way out. Well, it appears, for now at least, he looks to be safe in the grand scheme of things.
In an article written by Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, he confirmed that general manager Jarmo Kekalainen recently gave his vote of confidence that they will stick with Tortorella to right the ship. At least for now, Kekalainen believes that the current coaching staff is more than capable of putting the Blue Jackets back on track.
Here’s what Kekalainen had to say from that ESPN article in regards to Tortorella’s ability to keep his job and focus on the task at hand:
"“This coaching staff has gotten us out of slumps before. They’ve done a great job in the past five or six years they’ve been here. They are the ones that are going to get out of this jam as well, with the team that we have.”"
It’s interesting to see Kekalainen come out and say this publically to bring calmness to the situation. It’s no secret that ever since the Montreal Canadiens fired their head coach this season, it’s expected more big moves will happen, especially on teams with losing slumps. There is still a lot of hockey left to be played but it’s imperative that the Blue Jackets start changing things up if they’re to ever go back to being a winning team again.
Whether it’s making some roster moves, promoting/demoting players to put them in better positions to succeed, or Tortorella tweaking his coaching decisions, something has to give. For now, it appears Tortorella is safe but make no mistake about it, it will be surprising if he’s still the head coach once this season is in the books.
After watching Tortorella’s style over the years, it’s safe to say he’s not worried at all about his job security. It’s something that will never phase him since he’s always been tough whenever it came to the teams he was managing, dealing with players, or answering questions by the media. Perhaps a change in coaching philosophy will help bring more out of the roster and its prospects. At any rate, the Blue Jackets are just 8-10-5 at this point in time and aren’t playing well at all.
Perhaps making a coaching change right now during this abysmal losing slump would completely derail the entire organization. We may never know but at least for now, things will stay the same from a coaching perspective. One has to wonder, however, if the Blue Jackets keep losing close games as they have been if the higher-ups will have no other choice but to remove Tortorella before the season is over. Basically get it done now and get a headstart with someone that’s a better fit for a potentially brighter future.