Jarmo Kekalainen Joins NHL Executive Suite Podcast and Discusses John Tortorella's Communication Style

By Chris Pennington on April 27, 2020 at 8:05 am
Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella leaves the ice after the defeat against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Hard love - it never feels good at the moment, but we do need it, yes?

On Sunday morning's edition of the Executive Suite Podcast by the NHL, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen joined the show to discuss the club as well as the unique coaching style of head coach John Tortorella.

"Rick Nash puts it in a good way when I talk to him about John Tortorella...(he) said you always know where you're at with John Tortorella. There's no grey area, said Kekalainen. "There's no wondering "what does he think of me?", he'll let you know what you do right what you do wrong. I think that's a real good quality."

Nash was a former player for Tortorella when he was a member of the New York Rangers, so we know his comments are from experience and not speculation. Even from an outsider perspective, though - we easily believe this. Tortorella seems like the kind of coach that will give it to you straight ten out of ten times.

"He's not political. He's going to let you know where you stand," continued Kekalainen. "I think that players at the end of the day, they appreciate it. I've heard a lot of guys talk about (Tortorella) a lot more fondly in the past tense."

As mentioned, hard love is not fun to receive at the moment. But often, we look back and realize it's exactly what we needed in a certain moment or situation in life, and often what we needed to hear as opposed to "wanting' to hear.

"They learn to appreciate how he was like after the fact after he had coached them because they get into other situations, and they realize the coach is telling them one thing in front (of you) and another thing behind your back," concluded Kekalainen. "That's something I know the players do not appreciate, and with 'Torts', it's always going to be pretty bluntly honest about what he thinks of you, and he'll let you know."

Better to have someone who will speak their mind and be honest as opposed to someone who will hide behind corners and gossip, yes? He's a national treasure, folks. 

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