Columbus Blue Jackets gives vote of confidence to coach John Tortorella

Jan 14, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks on from the bench during the first period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen gave coach John Tortorella a vote of confidence on Tuesday amid the team’s five-game winless skid.

The Blue Jackets are 1-5-2 in their past eight games and sat in fifth place in the Central division after Monday’s games, sparking speculation about the direction of the franchise.

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“I don’t believe in quick fixes, that all of a sudden you blow up something you’ve been building for a while,” Kekalainen said Tuesday. “I have full confidence we’re going to snap out of this. … This coaching staff has gotten us out of slumps before. … They are the ones that are going to get out of this jam as well, with the team that we have.”

Tortorella, 62, is in his sixth season with the Blue Jackets. He is 217-150 with Columbus, having led them to the playoffs four times.

“I hate him having to do that, but I appreciate it,” Tortorella said of Kekalainen’s comments. “I’m not sure what was said, but we’re all big boys here. When you’re losing games and are playing as poorly as we’re playing, those questions need to be asked. … I’m not going to coach a team to keep my job. I’m going to coach the team to do the best I can for the team.”

The Blue Jackets host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

–Field Level Media