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NEW DETAILS EMERGE ON THE BREAKDOWN OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DUBOIS, TORTORELLA

Pierre-Luc Dubois may no longer be a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, but that hasn't stopped all the chatter about his perceived relationship with his former head coach John Tortorella. According to an article by French-language reporter Martin Leclerc with CBC's Radio-Canada, Tortorella allegedly moved to push out Dubois, even though his reasons for wanting a trade initially had nothing to do with Torts.

Leclerc states that when Dubois' contract with the Blue Jackets was up after the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in negotiations with GM Jarmo Kekalainen, Dubois asked about the direction of the team and whether players like Zack Werenski and Seth Jones would be around in another two years. Dubois apparently didn't like the answer and that was when he decided he wanted a trade, not wanting to make any sort of long-term commitment with the Blue Jackets. Leclerc claims Kekalainen and Dubois had agreed to keep the conversation private, while Dubois signed a short-term two-year deal to allow Kekalainen time to find a trading partner.

"When training camp got underway, John Tortorella's assistants had been ordered not to speak to Dubois," wrote Leclerc. "The latter (meaning Dubois) then realized: communication was broken and his work environment was no longer the same. And this childish way of approaching the situation meant that an exchange was going to happen very quickly."

"From the start of the camp, the star center of the Blue Jackets also realized that the confidentiality of the agreement he had made with the team's GM had evaporated in the space of a few hours," continued Leclerc. "The person responsible for the leak is also not difficult to identify."

Leclerc went on to claim that Tortorella's move to appear on a local radio show where he talked publicly about Dubois' trade request, adding he didn't know the reasons behind it, only added fuel to the fire and further diminished what relationship with Dubois he had left.

"Tortorella did some real demolition work from day one of the camp and it never stopped. He took the initiative and placed his general manager up against the wall , notes a source well aware of the situation," Leclerc said in his article.

In an interview this week with Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada, Dubois was asked point-blank about his relationship with Tortorella. Dubois said he respected him and had no issues with him. It's hard to know if that's really how he felt or if he was simply trying to douse the flames from the past couple of weeks. One thing is certain, love him or hate him, we likely haven't heard the last about Tortorella's relationships with his players. It will continue for as long as he's an NHL coach.



Source: Radio-Canada.ca
TIM TUCKER
JANUARY 25, 2021  (14H00)
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