You just knew this saga wasn't (quite) over.
A week after the Pierre-Luc Dubois situation boiled over with a phone-it-in shift against the Tampa Bay Lightning, resulting in a two-period benching and a trade less than 48 hours later, the tensions are still simmering.
Speaking on TSN's Insider Trading segment Thursday, Darren Dreger shared the first public comments of Pat Brisson, Dubois' agent, following the trade. Let's just say he's not particularly thrilled with the outspoken nature of John Tortorella, who shared his thoughts on the situation as it unfolded.
Before we go there, though...is Brisson not familiar with Tortorella?
"From day one of camp, John Tortorella wanted to expose Pierre-Luc Dubois," said Brisson, according to Dreger. "This included going on radio the second week, making it more difficult for the GM to do his job. Now, he continues to use different media platforms trying to justify his position.
"I have not heard Paul Maurice once say anything about a trade request from both Laine or Roslovic. This could've been operation submarine, but ah well, Torts wasn't able to help himself!"
There's a lot to unpack here, so we'll try to sort it out.
First, Tortorella runs an equal opportunity accountability department. Max Domi sat for a prolonged period in their opening series in Nashville. The Blue Jackets' star players, Cam Atkinson and Zach Werenski among them, have been treated the same when their game slips. This isn't new. What Dubois did was something no coach would stand for, and if we wind it back further, having open dialogue in the room about murky situations, i.e. distractions, also isn't a new development in Columbus.
Tortorella wasn't "exposing" anything. Dubois took care of that on his own.
Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky let the team know they'd be hitting free agency. But they were pros, and they played hard–really hard. That Blue Jackets team swept the Lightning and made it to the second round for the first time in team history. Dubois did the opposite. He forced the Blue Jackets' hand.
If Brisson wants to say Tortorella's comments made it harder for Jarmo Kekalainen to do his job, what did his client's actions do? Sure, Brisson has to stand up for his guy, but let's not throw bricks from the glass house here.
According to Dubois, the relationship with Tortorella wasn't the reason for asking to be traded. Hmm, something doesn't add up here!
Next, Brisson mentions Paul Maurice.
The Jets' head coach effectively danced around the subject in the aftermath of the deal, which is fine. They got the (presumed) best player in the trade. But did Patrik Laine put his team, coach, and organization in a bad spot during a game, weeks after he promised to be the "best teammate he could" despite the uncertainty he caused? No.
Laine was a central figure in the last game he played, scoring the OT winner and getting the spotlight for the right reasons. If Laine skated into the corner in the first period, lit up a smoke and watched the rest of the game from there, Maurice would've had a different opinion (and probably a lot more to say).
As coaches like to say, accountability is a two-way street. Brisson knows this. Throwing blame on the client's ex-coach is a lazy way of trying to call it to the forefront.