“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity I have to coach this team and be part of a wonderful community that has been very welcoming to my family, so I thank the McConnell family, Mike Priest, John Davidson, Jarmo Kekalainen, our staff and the entire organization,” Tortorella said in a statement. “I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken as a team and I look forward to continuing to work with a very good group of coaches and players.”
Tortorella, who won the Stanley Cup as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003-04, is the sixth NHL coach to win the Jack Adams Award more than once. He also won it in 2004.
“John Tortorella and his coaching staff have done a terrific job since his arrival nearly two years ago,” Kekalainen, the Blue Jackets general manager, said. “He is one of the top coaches in our game and we are excited about what lies ahead for our club with John as our head coach.”
Tortorella became the first United States-born coach and 24th in NHL history to win 500 games when the Blue Jackets defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Dec. 18. A Boston native, Tortorella is 530-432-131 (.545) in 1,093 NHL games with Columbus, Vancouver, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay, making him the winningest U.S.-born coach in League history.
“I give John Tortorella and all the coaching staff a ton of credit for the work they’ve done here,” Davidson, the Blue Jackets president, told their website. “I give the players a lot of credit, especially as young as this group is, for adhering to the plan. And I think everybody now is seeing even the limited success we’ve had, and how enjoyable it is.
“Now it’s up to Tortorella, the coaches, Jarmo, myself, players, trainers, and everybody to continue that progression.”