On Thursday, the Columbus Blue Jackets will face the Vancouver Canucks on the road, in what is slated to be John Tortorella’s first return to Rogers Arena since he was fired from the Canucks two years ago.
There will probably be more on that in the coming days, as the Blue Jackets and their head coach make their way through Western Canada, starting with Tuesday’s game in Edmonton.
But the main Tortorella storyline right now centers around his return to the Blue Jackets after missing three games with broken ribs suffered in a collision with Rene Bourque during a recent outdoor practice.
“I had no question as far as how everything was going to be handled,” said Tortorella, as per the Blue Jackets website on Monday.
“It’s not like I was missed or anything, it’s just selfishly, for me, I want to be with the team. It was frustrating because you’re not there and you want to be there. I would not have helped – it would have been more of a distraction. I’m just happy I’m back with the team now.”
In his absence, the Blue Jackets collected five of a possible six points.
The Blue Jackets entered the All-Star break 30th in the league’s overall standings, with 43 points in 51 games, but with back-to-back 5-2 wins over the floundering Montreal Canadiens.