NEW: #CBJ and head coach John Tortorella have mutually agreed to separate.
Tortorella is the winningest coach in team history, leading the club to a record 227-166-54 (.568 percentage points) in 447 games over 6 seasons.
– CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) May 9, 2021
The Blue Jackets announced on Sunday that Tortorella and the team have agreed to go their separate ways.
Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reported on Saturday night that the 62-year-old chose to move on when his contract expired this offseason.
“After discussing and considering the future direction of the team, Jarmo and I came to a mutual agreement to go our separate ways. I would like to thank the Columbus Blue Jackets organization for the opportunity to coach this team and live in the great Columbus. It has been a privilege to work with the players, coaches and hockey operations staff, who are some of the best in the league. I would also like to thank the CBJ fans and the community for the support they have given to and for the work of the CBJ family on behalf of the community, ”Tortorella said in a press release.
“Torts and I have had many conversations throughout the season, and we have agreed that the time has come for him and the club to go their separate ways. He is a great coach and his accomplishments with our club over the past six seasons speak for him. He has been instrumental in our success since his arrival, and we are extremely grateful for his passion and commitment to the Blue Jackets and our city. He was the right coach at the right time and helped us set a standard as we do, ”general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in the same statement.
The Blue Jackets failed to advance to the playoffs this season and tied for last place in the Central Division with the Detroit Red Wings.
Tortorella is the most successful coach in Blue Jackets history. In six seasons with Columbus, he went 226-166-42 and made the playoffs four times.
He coached the Blue Jackets to their first playoff victory in franchise history in 2019, sweeping the No.1 seed and Tampa Bay Lightning Presidents Trophy winner in the first round.
The Boston native was hired on Oct. 15, 2015, replacing Todd Richards after the Blue Jackets went 0-7 to start the season. He won the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year in 2016-17.
Tortorella won the Stanley Cup as head coach of the Lightning in 2004 and won two Jack Adams awards. He is the first coach born in the United States to achieve 500 victories in the NHL.