John Tortorella had no time for questions after blowout loss (Video)


Since being hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets John Tortorella has seemed to be a kinder, gentler coach.

The blow ups and battles with the media don’t seem to happen as much. We don’t get as many rants.

He just does not seem as angry all the time.

Losing 7-2 at home to the Edmonton Oilers, however, might change a few things.

That it was happened to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night and Tortorella was in no mood to answer question about the game.

His press conference consisted of him stepping to the podium, saying there is no point in answering questions about the game, then leaving.

Here it is in all of its glory.

The only question we have: Is this shorter than the night he said the New York Rangers “sucked from head to toe?”

(Oddly enough, that game was also against the Edmonton Oilers).

That press conference lasted, roughly, 14 seconds from the time he started talking until the time he walked away (and also included the line “I know you have a job to do”).

Tonight’s comes in at just around 12 seconds. So we might have a record for the shortest John Tortorella press conference of all time.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

John Tortorella explains why he made Cam Atkinson a healthy scratch


One year ago Cam Atkinson scored more goals than all but seven players in the NHL.

A little less than one month ago the Columbus Blue Jackets rewarded him with a seven-year, $41 million contract extension.

On Saturday night when the team plays host to the Arizona Coyotes he will find himself as a healthy scratch.

It has been a tough year for Atkinson to this point, missing some time due to injury and then struggling to get back to the same level he played at the past couple of years. In 25 games this season he has just six goals and three assists and has not recorded a point in six consecutive games.

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said it was not a tough call, and that he thinks he is helping Atkinson by sitting him out on Saturday.

“For me, it’s not a tough call,” Tortorella said before the game on Saturday, via the Blue Jackets’ Brian Hedger. “Cam’s a very important guy. If we’re going to have any sniff at all of having a chance to play and keep playing, he has to be a huge part of it. I know people get all jittery about it. I look at this as part of the process to getting him back. Do you want to go down this road? No. As I’e said many times, it’s easy to sit a guy out, but you’ve got to go through the other processes to try to help him. I think I’m helping him. You may think I’m crazy, but I do feel I’m helping Cam, and I’m going to continue to try and help him.”

Atkinson has been a 20-goal scorer in each of the past four seasons and really took a big step forward over the past two seasons. So it is quite likely his struggles early this season are more of a fluke and a rough patch than anything to be overly concerned about long-term. It is also pretty remarkable that the Blue Jackets have been as good as they have been (first place in the Metropolitan Division entering play on Saturday) while getting so little from one of their most important players.

Once Atkinson gets back to being himself again an already strong team in the Eastern Conference is going to be just that much better.

Related: Blue Jackets bet big on Cam Atkinson

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

John Tortorella will miss tonight’s game and All-Star game due to family emergency


Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella will not be behind the bench on Thursday night when the team visits the Nashville Predators due to a family emergency.

Assistant coaches Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will handle the coaching responsibilities for the game in his absence.

Along with missing Thursday’s game, he will also miss the NHL All-Star weekend where he was supposed to be the coach for the Metropolitan Division team.

The Blue Jackets released the following statement from Tortorella:

“Regrettably, there is a personal matter that requires my immediate attention that will force me to leave the team temporarily and miss the All-Star Game in Los Angeles. This decision was not made lightly as representing the Columbus Blue Jackets is something I am very proud of, but it is the right decision for my family and I. I appreciate the support of our organization and the National Hockey League and my hope is to be back with the team next week.”

Neither Tortorella or the Blue Jackets revealed what the emergency is, but according to Rob Mixer of the Blue Jackets it does not involve his son Nick who is an Army Ranger.

The Blue Jackets hired Tortorella early last season following an 0-7 start. Since being hired by the Blue Jackets the team is 66-44-12 under Tortorella, including a surprising 32-11-4 mark this season that has them in second place in the Metropolitan Division just two points behind the Washington Capitals.

John Tortorella says he would bench any player that sits during anthem


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


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.