Agent: Tortorella deserves to be among top-paid coaches

by 4d ago
Jamie Sabau / National Hockey League / Getty

John Tortorella is due for a raise in pay.

The Columbus Blue Jackets bench boss - who could enter next season on the final year of his contract - should be paid like the league's top coaches.

"Who just won coach of the year?" Neil Glasberg, who represents Tortorella, told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch. "It's not the first time he's won the Jack Adams Trophy, either. He's won a Stanley Cup. The Blue Jackets just had the best season in franchise history, and it's not even close. Yeah, he should be among the top-paid coaches in the league."

Glasberg's firm, PBI Sports and Entertainment, which represents several NHL coaches, including Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights, began talks on an extension for Tortorella last month.

Portzline speculates that a new deal could see Tortorella earn as much as $3.5 million a season. According to CapFriendly, Toronto's Mike Babcock ($6.25 million), Chicago's Joel Quenneville ($6 million), and Montreal's Claude Julien ($5 million) are among the league's highest-paid coaches. The three combine for five Stanley Cup championships.

As Tortorella's agent states, he brings similar accolades to the table, most recently as this season's coach of the year. It was the second time Tortorella laid claim to the trophy, after doing so in 2003-04 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a season in which he led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup.

Tortorella joined the Blue Jackets in 2015, two years after he signed a five-year deal to coach the Vancouver Canucks, who fired him in 2014. The Blue Jackets picked up part of that contract, with the Canucks responsible for making whole the remainder.

This season, the Boston native became the first American-born coach to reach 500 wins. Tortorella, 59, now ranks 22nd all time with 530 career NHL victories.