John Tortorella Eviscerates Jack Johnson, Penguins GM In NSFW Rant

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John Tortorella rarely holds back, and thank goodness for that.

Case in point: the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach’s wild, expletive-laden rant about Jack Johnson and Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford.

Johnson, who spent the past six-plus seasons playing for the Blue Jackets, signed a five-year, $16.25 million contract with the Penguins on Sunday. And during his introductory press conference, the American defenseman fired a not-so-subtle shot at his former team.

“I’ve been looking to be in a winning culture,” he said, via The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline.

Rutherford has taken flack for giving a long-term deal to Johnson, 31, who last was seen as a healthy scratch during Columbus’ first-round loss to the Washington Capitals in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. But Rutherford defended the signing Sunday, while also taking an unsubtle shot at the Blue Jackets.

“I don’t think he had a bad year,” he said, via Portzline. “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.”

Enter: Tortorella.

“All I know is, this organization, from the lawyers, the front office, (Blue Jackets president John Davidson), the managers, the coaches, players … has done nothing but try to help Jack,” Tortorella told Poltzine. “And for him to backhand slap us like this is utter bulls–t, and he should know better.

“No one wishes anything bad to happen to him and his family. We wish him the best. But for him to put it the way he put it today is bulls–t. And to have a general manager question our decision-making from three hours away, he must be a f—ing magician.”

Johnson dealt with bankruptcy as well as estrangement from his parents during his time in Columbus, per Potlzine. And Tortorella said the team “bent over backward” to help Johnson through his troubles.

“That’s what pisses me off,” Tortorella said. “He doesn’t have enough balls to call me back, because I’ve tried to get in touch with him. You don’t s–t on an organization that’s done nothing but try to help you.

“We all know Jack has had some problems along the way here; it’s very well-chronicled. All we’ve done is try to f—ing help him.”

But wait, there’s more.

On Rutherford: “The thing that pisses me off the most is a general manager in this league questioning and talking about our decision-making,” Tortorella said. “Shut the f–k up! … This is the Columbus Blue Jackets and we’re fighting our ass off to gain respect in this league, and we’re getting there. We’re getting there.

” … 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 f–k are they doing? Get on with your business! I hope (Johnson) plays his ass off for ’em, but stay the f–k out of our business when you don’t know what’s going on.”

Make of that what you will.

For the record: The first meeting between the Blue Jackets and Penguins next season is scheduled for Nov. 24.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images

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