John Tortorella is back in the NHL, this time with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus fired their previous head coach, Todd Richards, after an 0-7 start to the season.
In return, the Blue Jackets will send a 2nd round draft pick to the Canucks.
Confused? I don’t blame you.
The NHL introduced a new rule just over a year ago to allow for teams to be compensated when someone hires their employee as president, general manager or coach.
A reminder on the rule: it's 2nd-round pick for “in-season'' hire of coach or GM or prez of hockey ops; 3rd-rd pick for “off-season'' hire
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 21, 2015
Because Tortorella signed a five-year contract with the Canucks in 2013, he is still considered Canucks property, allowing Vancouver to cash in. The hire by the Blue Jackets happened in-season, which is even better news for the Canucks as it means they will get a second round draft pick in return. Columbus has the option if the pick comes in 2016, 2017 or 2018.
John Tortorella's contract with CBJ is for this season and two more, same as his remaining time on VAN contract. VAN paying "some of it."
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 21, 2015
The 2nd rounder is great news for Vancouver, but the cherry on top for Canucks ownership is that Columbus will help pay some of Tortorella’s salary. He had nearly three years left on a contract that originally paid him $2 million per season.
Columbus is hoping that they’re getting the John Tortorella that was successful in Tampa Bay and New York, not the guy who coached in Vancouver
and lived in Point Roberts.
Tortorella coached the Canucks to the sixth-worst record in the NHL during his only season on the west coast in 2013-14. By the end of his tenure here, Roberto Luongo and Ryan Kesler demanded to be traded and he and GM Mike Gillis were fired.
No matter how this turns out for the Blue Jackets, the Torts hire is great news for the NHL as a whole. Say what you want about his bombastic style, but Tortorella is entertaining. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
Torts will make his triumphant return to Vancouver on February 4, when the Blue Jackets take on the Canucks at Rogers Arena.