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Tortorella, Dubois not commenting on Blue Jackets’ benching mess

Anson Carter, Patrick Sharp and Kathryn Tappen react to John Tortorella's comments after benching Pierre-Luc Dubois vs. Tampa, increasing tension and trade talks with Dubois and how the move could backfire on Tortorella.

[UPDATE: Dubois has been dealt to the Winnipeg Jets for Patrik Laine.]

Earlier in this young season, there were already rumblings about John Tortorella benching top Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois. Tortorella deflected such questions about benching Dubois, but after that display in the Blue Jackets’ 3-2 OT loss to the Lightning, what can you really say?

Well, for the most part, both Tortorella and Dubois aren’t ready to saying anything about the benching.

To some extent, it’s about what wasn’t said. There’s no indication that PLD’s 3:55 of ice time was about an injury. At this point, any denials would come down to semantics. (“Sending a message!”)

Not much from Tortorella on benching; No comment from Dubois

Beyond saying that he “calls them like he sees them,” Tortorella didn’t expand on the Dubois benching decision. Torts indicated that everything’s fine in the Blue Jackets’ locker room following that OT loss to the Lightning.

You can see Tortorella’s previous denials of Dubois benching -- not much of a point to rationalizing now -- in the video below. Around the one-minute mark, there are some moments that might have drawn Torts’ ire:

During the game, Pierre-Luc Dubois was shown on the bench. Again, there wasn’t much of an indication that this was anything but a performance-related situation. He seemed to be joking with teammates.

That doesn’t mean he’s pleased. Dubois decided not to meet with the media on Thursday night.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.