Hate To Say It, But Torts Kinda Has A Point Here...

The Columbus coach's latest expletive-laden rant about the Penguins

The Fan Morning Show
July 02, 2018 - 11:39 am

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Aaron Portzline, Columbus Blue Jackets writer for The Athletic, probably didn't think he was going to get all this when he asked John Tortorella about the comments made by Jack Johnson and GM Jim Rutherford at Johnson's introductory press conference in Pittsburgh. Then again it is Torts, so maybe he did.

Johnson said that it he was "looking for a winning culture" and that Pittsburgh has it. Rutherford said, "I don’t think he had a bad year. He was a healthy scratch at the end of the season. I know the reason why. It wasn’t because of how he was playing," implying that Johnson found himself in the doghouse with Tortorella and not because he wasn't cutting it on the ice.

Well, this combination fired Torts up. When Portzline reached out to him about this, Tortorella had many things to say including, "No one wishes anything bad to happen to [Johnson] and his family. We wish him the best. But for him to put it the way he put it today is (expletive). And to have a general manager question our decision-making from three hours away, he must be a (expletive) magician.”

Also this... "But you get an arrogant couple of guys, an arrogant guy … I don’t want to go to name-calling, ’cause I know Jimmy. He’s a good man. They’re both good people. But what the (expleteive) are they doing? Get on with your business! I hope (Johnson) plays his (expletive) off for ’em, but stay the (expletive) out of our business when you don’t know what’s going on.”


Chris Mueller and Jeff Hathhorn, both filling in for Colin Dunlap and Jim Colony on The Fan Morning Show, were generally with Torts on this one. Chris said this is exactly how he would feel if he were in Tortorella's shoes. He can't get mad at it because it is a human being reacting to his organization being called out. Jeff said he can't argue with it and said that this is exactly what we want. We want people in sports to speak their minds and tell us how they really feel and Torts will always do that. Chris says that the comments coming out of that press conference did have a hint of superiority to them and he can understand why fans and staff in Columbus got upset about them. To Rutherford's credit though, as Jeff pointed out, he was asked why they would sign a player that was scratched late in the year and he said he did his own research on him and talked to Mike Sullivan before pulling the trigger.

With the Johnson comments, he didn't say "I came from a place that couldn't win" or "didn't have a winning culture." He simply said he was excited to be part of an organization that had one. Jeff said this shows you how touchy Torts is about his and Columbus' image about being able to get over the hump and win in the playoffs. 

Overall, the guys agree that Torts is as thin-skinned as it gets. But, the rant had a little more backing to it this time. The more spice that can be added to this matchup for the future, the better. We'll be in for some exciting hockey come November 24th, when these two teams meet for the first time. 



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