A Contract Extension May Be Coming Soon for Head Coach John Tortorella, Per Report

By Jacob Nitzberg on October 24, 2020 at 11:30 am
Nov 7, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks on during the third period \A| at Gila River Arena.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

John Tortorella has changed the culture of the Blue Jackets since his arrival.

There's no question about it. Since joining the Blue Jackets eight games into the 2015-16 season, Tortorella has compiled a 209-140-42 record, notched four consecutive playoff appearances, and added the Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year) to his shelf. Not too bad for coming to a franchise that had made the playoffs just twice in its first 15 years in the NHL. 

With this in mind, it makes sense that the Blue Jackets want to keep him. Tortorella signed a two-year extension prior to the 2019-20 season that will see him make $2.5 million for the 2020-21 campaign, but his contract expires after this upcoming season.

When the time is right, I think you’ll see (the Blue Jackets) address it.– Pierre Lebrun on a potential contract extension for John Tortorella

Per a report from The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, there is "no question that the Blue Jackets want to keep Torts around." Lebrun added that "there's nothing planned anytime soon, but that’s more about the uncertainty of the season and the NHL financial landscape than anything else."

COVID-19 has certainly affected sports leagues around the world, and the NHL is no exception. Although many teams have room in the salary cap to make moves, they may choose to not go all the way up to the cap. While the cap doesn't apply to coaches, the fact that money is a bit tight right now is a factor to consider when weighing a contract extension for Tortorella. 

At the end of the day, the Blue Jackets will likely do whatever it takes to keep Tortorella behind their bench. He's become synonymous with the surge of the franchise from a team that everyone wanted to play to a team that no one does.

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