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Tortorella Confirms Dubois “Wants Out”, Relationship Now Rocky

Is the relationship between John Tortorella and Pierre-Luc Dubois so tenuous now that the center needs to be traded?

There’s no doubt about it now: Pierre-Luc Dubois is looking to leave the Columbus Blue Jackets. While he might not have “officially” demanded a trade, Jackets’ head coach John Tortorella confirmed Dubois is seeking a change of scenery when he said during an interview on 97.1 The Fan’s Rothman and Ice in Columbus: “He wants out.”

Related: Canadiens and Jets Exploring Options to Acquire Dubois

Tortorella Details Where Dubois Is At

Tortorella was asked if he could confirm rumors on Dubois’ situation with the team and Tortorella said, “Yeah, he wants out.” He added:

“He spoke to the team. As we do here. He has been honest with the group – I wish he was a little bit more honest, as far as reasons why. I think he needs to speak on that, I won’t.

Unfortunately, Tortorella also said that leaves he, Dubois and the team ins somewhat of a tricky spot. He explained that he’s not sure how their relationship will be affected by all of this as he tries to sort through emotions about Dubois wanting to go, Torts desire to invest in players who want to be part of the long-term solution and doing what’s best for the hockey club.

He said:

“It’s hard for me. I’m not sure where it goes with me as the season gets going here, I’ll be quite honest with you. I want to spend my time developing the people that want to be here, but I still have to coach the hockey team to be the best it can be.”

Pierre-Luc Dubois Trade Rumors

Can This Dubois Situation Be Salvaged?

Tortorella acknowledged that Dubois now has a short leash on his team. He seemed to hint that as long as Dubois was productive, showed up with the right attitude and did everything to help the team, things wouldn’t go off the rails. If Dubois doesn’t do all of those things… all bets are off.

The coach is clearly upset that a 22-year-old player who he and the Blue Jackets franchise spent so much time and effort developing simply wants to go. He hasn’t really explained why and that doesn’t sit well with him.

The question now is, does GM Jarmo Kekäläinen try to put a rush on trading the player knowing that things could be bumpy between the coach and the player? Or, is it possible that Tortorella is playing with fire making comments like this when he’s got a contract of his own that expires at the end of the season?

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