The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Head Coach John Tortorella to a two-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season, General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Kekalainen and Tortorella will meet with the media today at 12:30 p.m. ET as part of the club's annual Media Day Luncheon at Nationwide Arena.
Tortorella is the franchise's all-time leader in wins and points percentage as he has guided Columbus to a 129-87-23 record (.588 points percentage) in 239 games since being named head coach on Oct. 21, 2015. He has led the Blue Jackets to appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his first two full seasons behind the bench, marking the first back-to-back post-season berths in club history.
In 2016-17, he won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's Coach of the Year after Columbus posted the best record in franchise history with a 50-24-8 mark (108 pts.), including a 16-game winning streak from Nov. 29, 2016 to Jan. 3, 2017 that fell one win shy of the NHL record of 17 set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins. Last season, the club went 45-30-7 (97 pts.), including 10 consecutive wins from Mar. 4-22, 2018. Columbus became just the third team in league history to post winning streaks of 10-plus games in consecutive seasons, joining the Penguins (2010-11, 2011-12) and Philadelphia Flyers (1984-85 and 1985-86).Learn more about 2018-19 Blue Jackets Ticket Plans
"Our team has been one of the winningest in the NHL over the past two seasons and John Tortorella has played a critical role in that success and in raising the level of our team's play since his arrival," said Kekalainen. "His passion and commitment to being the best has permeated our team and we believe will lead to even greater success in the future."
Tortorella, 60, has compiled a 575-462-138 record (.548) in 1,175 games with the Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. He won his first Jack Adams Award in 2003-04 when he led the Tampa Bay Lightning to its second-straight Southeast Division title with a 46-22-14 record (106 pts.) en route to the franchise's lone Stanley Cup championship. The Boston native ranks first among U.S.-born coaches in NHL history in wins and on Dec. 18, 2016 became the 24th coach in NHL history to record 500 wins when the Blue Jackets beat the Canucks, 4-3, in overtime. He currently ranks 19th on the NHL's all-time wins list and is 18th in games coached. Among active coaches, he ranks sixth in wins and fifth in games coached.
The Blue Jackets open their 18th training camp, presented by OhioHealth, on Thursday with medicals and fitness testing with the first day of on-ice activities scheduled for Friday at the OhioHealth Ice Haus. The club hosts the Buffalo Sabres in the pre-season opener on Monday, September 17. Game time is 7 p.m. ET at Nationwide Arena.