A winless start in Columbus has made John Tortorella the most likely NHL head coach to be fired first, according to online bookmaker Bovada.
Tortorella is getting 13/4 odds to get the ax before any of his counterparts. He’s followed by Willie Desjardins in Vancouver at 7/2 and Islanders bench boss Jack Capuano at 15/4. Next are Michel Therrien in Montreal at 11/2 and Claude Julien in Boston at 13/2, while Alain Vigneault in New York and Paul Maurice in Winnipeg are each at 7/1.
As for Tortorella, there’s no doubt the Blue Jackets are in tough. They lost their first two games of the season and host Chicago Friday. After that, they have four road games against tough competition in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim. So it could get worse before it gets better.
That being said, even if the losses pile up, the Jackets may be loath to fire another coach. Tortorella hasn’t even been on the job a year, after replacing Todd Richards last October. And remember, for the privilege of hiring Tortorella, the Jackets had to send Vancouver a second-round draft pick.