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Tortorella puts new twist on traditional training camp groups

Group one holds the players the organization is looking at to make the NHL roster, and group two is designed to help shape the AHL roster for the Cleveland Monsters

by Alison Lukan AlisonL /

Blue Jackets Rink Report 9/22/17

Shelley and McElligott preview third preseason game

Shelley and McElligott preview third preseason game

  • 04:23 •

Friday marks the start of a busy three days for the Blue Jackets at Training Camp presented by OhioHealth. There is a game each of the three days starting with Pittsburgh tonight at 7 p.m.

As players took to the ice this morning, however, it did not look like a traditional morning skate.

As promised, head coach John Tortorella and his staff broke down the camp roster into two groups and that is how the players skated, whether they were playing in tonight's game or not.

Group one holds the players the organization is looking at to make the NHL roster, and group two is designed to help shape the AHL roster for the Cleveland Monsters.

Tortorella has used this type of design for his camps before, but he's never kept the groups as is regardless of if a player was in a game that night. Part of why he's doing this is that it's time to start working through the Jackets' team concept with players. 

Video: Abramov on learning a lot in camp

Group one held a meeting today where they started to review defensive zone coverages, forechecking and neutral zone work.

But don't think those groups are set in stone. While the list sends a pretty clear message where players fall in the depth chart right now, a new list goes up every morning and it can change as far as who is on it.

"It sends a thought to the players that this is where you're at whether you like it or not," Tortorella said. "There it is and there's the guy that's ahead of you right now."

Tortorella says his door remains open to anyone who wants to come talk to him about it. A few players from group two already grabbed some of his time when the initial list came out. The head coach's message to those guys is "you're not locked in there, stay with it."

To that end, Tortorella will again watch tonight's game from the press box. He wants one more chance to evaluate players in-game before returning to the bench tomorrow versus Chicago.

"I want to watch the players," Tortorella said. "I want to give them the proper look instead of being in the battle of the game. You might miss something good."

 Video: Somerby eager to hit the ice


  • Pierre-Luc Dubois lines up on the wing in tonight's game. "We want to look at him at both positions, (center and wing). It has nothing to do good or bad as far as how he's played at center," Tortorella said.
  • Jordan Schroeder did not finish Wednesday's game in St. Louis. He is day to day with an upper body injury.
  • Brandon Dubinsky, who is recovering from wrist surgery, skated with group one today and participated in contact drills. Tortorella was pleased with how the veteran center looked and hopes to get him in a preseason game.
  • Center John Mitchell joined the Jackets' camp as a PTO. He skated today with group two.
  • Defenseman John Ramage is expected to miss 2-4 weeks due to a hamstring injury.
  • Free-agent, Hayden Hodgson was released from camp.



Milano - Dalpe - Abramov

Dubois - Sedlak - Foligno

Thurkauf - Camper - Motte

Hännikäinen - Mitchell - Scott


Harrington - Nutivaara

Somerby - Savard

Gaunce - Collins




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