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Debate: Is John Tortorella best coach for Blue Jackets?

Debate: Is John Tortorella best coach for Blue Jackets?
debate-is-john-tortorella-best-coach-for-blue-jackets
Pierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald discuss whether Patrick Kane Youth Jersey coach John Tortorella is the right choice to fix what is wrong in Columbus. LEBRUN: Joey Mac, be honest, what was your reaction when you heard John Tortorella was replacing Todd Richards as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets? Certainly, nobody is surprised Richards got fired after an 0-7-0 start and it’s unfortunate because he’s a good coach. It’s an ugly part of pro sports that firing the coach is the most-frequent course of action simply because it’s the easiest. I hate it. But the team needs a jolt. Can they get it from Torts? When I spoke with Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen last week when the team was 0-4-0, he lamented the team’s lack of identity; he wanted his players to go back to "Blue Jackets hockey." Which is to say, in your face, gritty and making the other team pay for every inch of the ice. We certainly haven’t seen that Dan Boyle Authentic Jersey team this year. Enter Torts, whose teams have certainly played that way when things are going well for him. McDONALD: My initial reaction, Pierre, was “Oh, great. Torts is back.” Of course, I’m somewhat kidding. Tortorella is a great coach and will get the most out of his players. If there’s one guy who can turn the Blue Jackets around, he should be that type of coach. Forget what fans see on the outside when it comes to Torts’ personality; he’s respected around the league as a good hockey guy. Unfortunately, Richards is a really good coach, too. He had Columbus going in the right direction last season, but this current skid cost him his job. If Torts can turn this around he’ll get the credit, but no one should forget the job Richards did with that organization, with the exception of the 0-7-0 record. LEBRUN: Well, let’s be honest here, Torts was not a great coach at the end with the New York Rangers, and he certainly didn’t do great with the Vancouver Canucks, either. I wrote it at the time and I stand by it: The Canucks were crazy hiring him so quickly after his meltdown in New York. I truly felt Tortorella needed time to decompress before he got back into the game and it was not smart by anyone involved to throw him into that fire in Vancouver on a team that was depreciating, too, after being a Cup contender for many years. But here’s where I think it could work in Columbus: He has had a year and a half to decompress, to get a fresh take on things, and I think he’s going to come back a better coach. "The Jackets need a guy to come in and kick ass and take names and that’s Torts," said one NHL team executive. "That’s Torts. He’s had time away. I think he’s actually going to do well there." McDONALD: I couldn’t agree more that Torts http://www.nhlofficialco.com/brad-richards-jersey-c-1_82_117.html needed time away from the game. I do believe he’s one of those coaches who can get the most out of a team in the short term but his message gets old pretty quick in the long term. It will be interesting to see whether he will change his approach in Columbus or if he’ll go in old-school Torts-style. This game is changing quickly and coaches need to change with it. In Boston, Claude Julien, a Stanley Cup-winning coach, has had to change his coaching style to adjust to the organization’s new philosophy. Can Torts change with the times? The good thing is he’ll have a solid veteran core of players that could help him move his message. Again, I think he’ll be good in the short term, but I’m not sure whether he can last in the NHL.

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