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TORTORELLA COMES CLEAN ON DUBOIS: 'G-----N RIGHT WE'VE HAD CONFLICT'

With Pierre-Luc Dubois now a member of the Winnipeg Jets, Columbus head coach John Tortorella is opening up on his relationship with the young centre, and in true Torts fashion he is not holding back.

"Have Luc and I had conflict? Goddamn right we've had conflict," Tortorella told Sportsnet. "If someone doesn't want to be here, that's a hard thing for me to stomach, quite honestly."

Dubois requested a trade during the offseason. The former third overall pick led the Blue Jackets in scoring in 2019-20 but, for whatever reason, decided he wanted out. Some have speculated it was Tortorella that led to that decision. Dubois himself said things started to go south during negotiations for his new contract, something Columbus GM Jarmo Kekäläinen said was not true. Tortorella benched Dubois during the first couple of games of the season, and for almost all of his final game in Columbus, something he says he doesn't regret.

"I'll tell you this, I do think the athletes [today], it's a softer athlete," said Tortorella. " And the benching, I'd do it again."

Despite saying all of these things, Tortorella insists people have an incorrect perception of him.

"A lot of people have some perceptions of me that don't have a clue who I am."

Dubois certainly isn't the first player to seemingly want out of Columbus. Most notably, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky chose to go to free agency the off-season before last rather than re-sign with the Blue Jackets. Tortorella insisted that few understand the full story.

TIM TUCKER
JANUARY 27, 2021  (7H38)
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Chinese Mao Tse-tung died in 1976. This man was:
A HEAD OF STATE OF CHINA
A MISSIONARY CARING FOR LEPERS
A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE
A VERY RECOGNIZED PHILOSOPHER