Blue Jackets fire Richards, hire John Tortorella

NHL insider Chris Johnston joins Shawn McKenzie to discuss why John Tortorella will be a good match in Columbus, and who better than Torts to give the Blue Jackets the kick in the pants that they need.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have opted for change behind the bench following a disastrous 0-7 start to the 2015-16 season.

Todd Richards has been relieved of his duties as head coach, and Sportsnet can confirm the Blue Jackets have handed over the reins to John Tortorella.

Tortorella’s last run in the NHL came with the Vancouver Canucks in the 2013-14 season, where he coached the club to a 36-35-11 finish and missed the post-season. He was fired one year into a five-year deal with the team. The Canucks will receive a second-round draft pick as compensation for Tortorella’s hiring.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston confirms that Blue Jackets assistants Craig Hartsburg and Brad Larsen will remain in the picture.

Columbus has allowed a league-worst 34 goals through seven games while sporting a woeful -21 goal differential.

In September, USA Hockey announced that Tortorella will coach its Team USA squad for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The Blue Jackets are his fourth NHL team, having coached the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, and Canucks. The 57-year-old coached the Lightning to a Stanley Cup championship in 2004.

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