After being linked in recent days to rumours of a possible coaching job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, John Tortorella said Tuesday he has not been contacted by any NHL team this month.
"No, I haven't," Tortorella told Steve Kouleas on SiriusXM NHL Network radio. "I think it's an absolute joke that they have these percentages of who's going to get fired first. It's such a disrespected position. It drives me crazy how people treat it. So, no, I have not been contacted and the coaches being talked about are real good coaches."
The Blue Jackets lost to the Islanders 4-0 on Tuesday to become the NHL's first team to start 0-7-0 in 18 years. The 1997-98 Blackhawks were the last to do it.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen has reportedly been leaning more toward making a trade to bolster the blue line than firing coach Todd Richards, but after the seventh loss all bets could be off.
"I just don't get how it all transpires so quickly, six games into it," Tortorella said. "And then people are putting percentages on who's going to get gassed."
Tortorella, 57, has been out of hockey since being fired by the Canucks after the 2013-14 season. He was recently announced as head coach for Team USA's entry in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He is the all-time winningest American-born coach in NHL history.
The main reason for the link to Columbus are Tortorella's close ties to Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson. The pool of available coaches is also not very deep.
Tortorella's advice for Richards, and all coaches on the hot seat, is to "ignore the noise."
"It is part of the business. You know it's coming," Tortorella said. "We all know it. You take the good with the bad. When you're in this type of situation with a team starting a little slow out of the gate, it's so much more magnified because it's the beginning of the year. Stay with your club. Lock the doors. Teach. Coach. And try to get better every day."
Frank Seravalli can be reached at email@example.com.