John Tortorella doesn’t hate the players that have left the Blue Jackets during the 2019 offseason, but he certainly seems to hate the game.
Columbus’ head coach has watched the likes of Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene, Artemi Panarin and more sign contracts elsewhere this offseason after the Blue Jackets’ run at the 2019 Stanley Cup came up short. And he was honest with The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline about how he feels towards the recent roster changes.
“I don’t want to talk about this, but I’ll address this with you: the players that left, I don’t want to disrespect them. I don’t,” he said, per Portzline. “If they don’t want to be here, so be it. But I’m not going to disrespect them. They were really good players for us. Really good people for us. I’m not going to disrespect them, but I’m not spending much time talking about them. I’m gonna talk about the players who want to be here.”
In fact, Tortorella still has plenty of confidence in his current squad.
“We feel we have a really good corps. We feel like we made a really good step last year, although we still don’t get out of the second round. We still made a step in the right direction. That doesn’t change because we lose some players. They’re really good players, but that doesn’t change our mindset as far as how we feel about ourselves. The most important part of our entry into this camp and into this season is how we carry ourselves.”
Huh. Not quite the meltdown we’re used to seeing from him.