VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 13:  Head coach John Tortorella of the Vancouver Canucks reflects on a question during his post-game press conference after defeating the Calgary Flames 5-1 in NHL action on April 13, 2014 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
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John Tortorella says he would bench any player that sits during anthem

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused quite a stir this preseason when he decided to not stand for the National Anthem as a form of protest to racial inequality and injustices in America. It is a protest that has not only received both criticism and praise, but also one that a couple of other athletes (both within the NFL and outside of it) have since followed.

One place you probably will not see it happen is on a team coached by John Tortorella.

Tortorella was asked about that very situation on Tuesday by ESPN’s Linda Cohn and was very clear about how he would handle it. That player would not leave the bench for the remainder of the game.

“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” Tortorella said.

Along with his duties as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tortorella is also the head coach of the United States team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, something that he obviously takes very seriously beyond what it means on the ice.

“It is hockey, but I also think it is a huge platform for us to represent our country, especially in today’s world, with everything is going on,” Tortorella said on Tuesday.

One player that seemed to have a disagreement with Tortorella’s approach was Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown.

Along with his plan to bench any player that does not stand Tortorella, whose son is an Army Ranger, has also pledged to stop referring to hockey games as “wars” and “battles” because of the new perspective he has because of his son’s service.

Torts’ retorts: The best of John Tortorella

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Is John Tortorella still a relevant coach? Does he really make the Columbus Blue Jackets better?

He certainly seems like a better fit in Columbus than Vancouver, but who’s to say that means the Blue Jackets will be glad that they made this move?

Well, there’s a significant group of bystanders who are happy Torts is back: many in the media … and many who like to rubberneck at his hilarious dealings with the media and opponents.

The video above collects some of his greatest outbursts.

Here’s hoping he adds plenty more with the Blue Jackets.

No, teams aren’t asking about John Tortorella (not even Columbus)

John Tortorella
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It’s something that’s faded just a touch, but one might notice that more than a few New York Rangers made their way to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

At this time, it doesn’t appear that one of their most blustery faces in recent memory – former head coach John Tortorella – will be taking up residence in Ohio.

That goes for the rest of the NHL’s struggling teams, too.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline floated a rather interesting nugget on Saturday: teams aren’t calling the Vancouver Canucks to receive permission to inquire about Tortorella:

Torts made quite the show about focusing on helping the U.S. on the international level, and here’s one clear reason (*cough* money *cough*) to see why he may be inclined to wait for the absolute perfect offer:

So, there you go. At the moment, no one’s asking about Torts.

Let’s admit that it would be fun to return his fiery spectacle to the headlines, and Columbus would rank as maybe the most bizarre locale (imagine him hugging it out with Brandon Dubinsky?).

The above at the moment is there for a reason: it’s dangerous to rule out much of anything, especially with a team in an increasingly desperate situation like Columbus.

Just look at how happy Todd Richards is to sleep:

Yikes.

The other bit of Blue Jackets news today is a bit off the beaten track, but still not very promising:

USA Hockey confirms John Tortorella will coach World Cup squad

John Tortorella
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It’s official: John Tortorella is Team USA’s head coach for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

“We’re excited to have John as head coach of our World Cup team,” said Los Angeles Kings and Team USA GM Dean Lombardi, per USA Hockey. “He knows what it takes to win at the highest level and I know that our entire management group looks forward to working with him and his staff.”

Tortorella has won 446 NHL games — more than any other American coach — and is a Stanley Cup champion. However, he was relieved of his duties with the New York Rangers in 2013 and his attempt to extend his career with the Vancouver Canucks ended disastrously.

As previously noted though, he does have experience when it comes to representing America in both the Worlds and Olympics. It’s also possible that the World Cup will favor bench bosses that aren’t currently employed by an NHL team, as seems to be the implication after the selection of Tortorella and Ralph Krueger as Team Europe’s head coach.

At the least, this gives him a stage to show that he can still be an effective bench boss.

Report: John Tortorella — yes, John Tortorella — will coach USA at World Cup

John Tortorella
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Bit of a stunner ahead of tonight’s announcement from USA Hockey — per TSN, John Tortorella has been chosen to lead the American team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

It’s a decision that will definitely generate debate.

Tortorella, 57, is the winningest American coach in NHL history but has been unceremoniously dumped from his last two gigs. His last stop, the ’13-14 campaign in Vancouver, was an outright disaster — the Canucks recorded their lowest points percentage in 14 years and Tortorella was slapped with a lengthy suspension for trying to attack Calgary head coach Bob Hartley.

If you’re trying to make sense of the hire, do consider Tortorella has history with USA Hockey. He was the head coach of the team that finished sixth at the 2008 Worlds, and an assistant at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

So this hiring isn’t totally out of left field.

But it’s definitely out of shallow left field.

There are other candidates — seemingly more “in form” candidates — like Peter Laviolette and Todd Richards, both of whom were mentioned in our now-hilariously-useless poll from earlier today.

There was also some thought the World Cup of Hockey would be comprised primarily of (active) NHLers, especially among the North American teams, since Doug Armstrong is the Canadian GM, Dean Lombardi is the American GM and Peter Chiarelli is the Youngstars GM.

That said, we could see a trend developing among coaches, as in, maybe they’re looking for guys to focus solely on the World Cup?

If Tortorella takes the U.S. gig on the heels of Ralph Krueger accepting the Team Europe bench boss position, it could suggest coaches for this event will be ones focused solely on the World Cup — unlike NHL coaches, who would (theoretically) be preoccupied with the upcoming campaign, training camp, exhibition games and the like.

Remember that, in February, Tortorella said he wanted to coach again and sounded determined to do whatever it took to break back in.