Blue Jackets nearing extension with Tortorella
The Columbus Blue Jackets and head coach John Tortorella are close to agreeing on a contract extension, according to general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.
Kekalainen is confident a deal will be reached before the Blue Jackets open training camp next week, telling NHL.com's Tom Gulitti, "He's done a great job. I think the coaching staff has done a great job for us and stability is important, so I'm sure we’ll get something worked out."
The update comes just one day after the Blue Jackets inked Kekalainen to an extension, in addition to extending president of hockey operations John Davidson, and Bill Zito, who was promoted from assistant to associate GM.
Tortorella has one year remaining on his current contract, his fourth season with the Blue Jackets. The coming campaign is the first in which Columbus will pay all of Tortorella's contract after his former club, the Vancouver Canucks, was responsible for paying part of the deal following his 2014 dismissal.
Since joining Columbus, Tortorella has helped bring the team to the next level, guiding the Blue Jackets to a franchise-record 108 points in 2016-17. That season, Tortorella was the recipient of the Jack Adams Award presented to the NHL's coach of the year.
It marked the second time Tortorella has captured the award. He was also given the honor in 2004 after leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a championship.
Tortorella has posted a 129-87-23 record over nearly three seasons after becoming the Blue Jackets' bench boss in October 2015. The Boston native ranks first all-time among American-born coaches with 575 career wins in 1,175 games.
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