Johansen, Blue Jackets insist trade wasn’t about Torts
If the (perceived?) rift between John Tortorella and Ryan Johansen factored into the blockbuster trade that propelled Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets, then the sides are doing their part to keep that private.
Publicly, both Johansen and his now-former-team are denying that seemingly strained relationship as the catalyst for a move.
Johansen said all the right things about Torts during a conference call following the trade (which shocked many in the hockey world, but apparently not him).
Johansen: ``My relationship with Torts was good ... he's just a type of in-your-face coach, tries to get best out of you...''— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 7, 2016
Interestingly, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Johansen never asked for a trade, even with a lot of drama going on this season.
Although there were times of turmoil in Columbus, Johansen never asked for a trade. Good ole fashioned 1 for 1 swap involving top end talent— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 7, 2016
Either way, Johansen is clearly excited to join the Predators.
Ryan Johansen: "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster of thoughts. ... This is a huge opportunity for me to take the next step in my career."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 7, 2016
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen emphasized that this was about getting a potential blue chip defenseman in Jones, not about hard feelings between Columbus’ former No. 1 center and Tortorella.
Many believe that the Blue Jackets won this deal, citing Jones’ strong possession numbers and potential to really grow into a more prominent role in Columbus. Kekalainen clearly believes Jones could be a go-to guy for the Blue Jackets.
Predators GM David Poile discussed the move, which you can watch in the video below.