There have been many stories surrounding John Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and now we have another.
Tortorella benched Laine a few games after being traded to Columbus by the Winnipeg Jets after the head coach was clearly unhappy with Laine’s effort against the Carolina Hurricanes. Tortorella said that was the last thing he wanted to do, but felt he had to.
Laine spoke to Finnish outlet aamulehti.fi and wasn’t shy about criticizing Tortorella for the way he coached forwards in particular.
“I guess everyone has to have rules, but of course you always hope you can use your strengths,” Laine told Finnish media, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch. “Tortorella didn’t give anyone freedom. Forwards want to create offensively. You have to “cheat” a bit if you want to become a goal king. It is not possible if the coaches think differently. But I do what they tell me.
But Laine had more to say:
“I understand the need for a tight system, but all players are different,” he said. “I don’t even want to be like everyone else. I am who I am and I do things my way. Everyone should have the opportunity to be themselves. Then, of course, you have to play in the team system. I think it’s stupid not to use my potential. But what the coaches think is another matter.