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Blue Jackets Coach John Tortorella Tells Team He Won’t Be Back Next Season

The most successful stretch in Columbus Blue Jackets hockey history is ready to come to a close, as head coach John Tortorella has told the team that he will not return to the bench there next season.

Columbus’ season ended on Saturday with a 5-4 OT win over Detroit. The team struggled this year, finishing in last place in the Central Division with a 18-26-12 mark.

The Blue Jackets won’t make the postseason for just the second time in six seasons with Tortorella as the team’s head coach.

The contract for Tortorella expires this summer, so leaving is an easier decision for the 62-year-old than trying to work out some sort of buyout.

There are already rumors that Tortorella will apply for another head coaching job this summer. Right now, Vancouver, Montreal, Detroit and Buffalo will all have openings on their bench that Tortorella can simply slide into.

The experienced coach leaves Columbus as the winningest coach in franchise history, posting a 227-166-54 regular-season record and a 13-18 record in the playoffs. Tortorella led the Blue Jackets to their best season ever in 2016-17, when the team won 50 games and accrued 108 points.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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  1. Torts probably has some value left in special circumstances. Pulling Buffalo out of their decade-long funk and salvaging the best years of Jack Eichel might be that kind of fit. I don’t think he will bring any team a Stanley Cup, but for some teams, being in the conversation might be enough, and he can do that.

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