Will John Tortorella last the season with the Columbus Blue Jackets?

Mar 18, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella walks off the ice after the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t seen Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins comments about wanting to “delete” this season, you’re missing out. It was as brutally honest a post game interview as you will ever see.

Blue Jackets goalie, Elvis Merzlikins wants to delete this season

In the Blue Jackets latest defeat, Elvis Merzlikins made 25 saves surrendering only two goals to the Lightning. Afterwards, the goalie looked exasperated and let his feelings be known. “I’m tired. I’m tired of losing the game and I know we are trying but this is getting embarrassing,” he explained. “It is what it is. I’m going to be honest with you guys.”

To cap off his comments, Merzlikins summed up his feelings about the season. “It’s really so a bad year. I just want to finish it – delete this year and not think about it.” Wow!

Will John Tortorella last the season?

After those comments many are wondering why John Tortorella has not been dismissed? The Jackets only have seven games left, which could be the main reason why. However, that didn’t stop Michael Traikos of the National Post to ask how Torts could still be behind the bench after Merzlikins’ post game interview.

Mike Babcock, Gerard Gallant and Bruce Boudreau are currently out of work. But Tortorella, who chased Pierre-Luc Dubois out of Columbus and is now ruining Patrik Laine’s career, is still being paid to coach. He’s still in a position in which he gets to bench Max Domi and make roster decisions. He’s still given a platform in which he gets to refuse to answer reporters’ questions…

Claude Julien was fired in February after the Habs went 9-5-4. The following month, Calgary replaced Geoff Ward (11-11-2) with Darryl Sutter, while Buffalo let go of Ralph Krueger (6-18-4). And yet, with the losses piling up, Tortorella (15-25-9) continues to pick up a paycheque in Columbus.

National Post

That’s about a scathing a hot-take on a head coach as you are going to get.

The Columbus Blue Jackets will be looking for a new head coach next year. According to Darren Dreger, current bench boss John Tortorella is not expected back. The longtime coach of the Jackets will have his contract expire at the conclusion of the season and be looking for a new locker room.

It’s a mutual agreement that both sides part ways. Out of respect for his tenure here, I believe GM Jarmo Kekalainen would rather not have Torts’ legacy end with a dismissal. Of course, if more players speak out like Merzlikins that could change.

nhl headlines John Tortorella
John Tortorella eliminated (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)