Tortorella acknowledges conflict with Dubois, calls today's athletes 'softer'

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Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella didn't mince words when discussing the recent trade of his past disgruntled star Pierre-Luc Dubois.

"Have Luc and I had conflict? Goddamn right we've had conflict," Tortorella said in an interview with Sportsnet's Christine Simpson. "If someone doesn't want to be here, that's a hard thing for me to stomach, quite honestly."

He added: "I'll tell you this, I do think the athletes (today), it's a softer athlete. And the benching; I'd do it again."

After Tortorella benched Dubois for the majority of what turned out to be his final game with the Blue Jackets early last week, many people speculated that the failing relationship between the two led to the center's trade demand last month.

However, after being dealt to the Winnipeg Jets last week, Dubois said Tortorella wasn't the reason for his trade request. Dubois added that he has "nothing but respect for him." The 22-year-old hasn't explained why he demanded a trade.

While Tortorella is well aware of his reputation for having a brass nature and tough coaching style, Columbus' bench boss says he pays no attention to it.

"A lot of people have some perceptions of me that don't have a clue who I am," Tortorella said.

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Tortorella acknowledges conflict with Dubois, calls today's athletes 'softer'
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