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Lightning expects John Tortorella to make impact in Columbus



Lightning video coach Nigel Kirwan has been good friends with John Tortorella for a long time.

Having known Tortorella since he coached Tampa Bay from 2001-08, Kirwan had a feeling "Torts" wasn't through with coaching.

"I got the sense that he still had that competitive fire in him that was still burning," Kirwan said. "I don't think that fire was out yet."

Apparently not, as Tortorella was hired by Columbus Wednesday to take over for fired Todd Richards. Kirwan expects Tortorella, who last coached with the Canucks in 2013-14 to adapt, to a point.

"He is who he is, he's his own man and I appreciate that and have respect for his honesty," Kirwan said. "I think in the situations in Vancouver and New York, I'm sure it had some impact on him. He's a smart guy and knows how to adapt and change if he feels he needs to. But I think Torts knows how to get the job done and knows how to do things his way."

Veteran wing Ryan Callahan, who played for Tortorella with the Rangers from 2008-2013, said he was really happy to see him get another job. Callahan, who captained the Rangers, credits Tortorella for giving him an opportunity and having a "huge influence on my game, how I play."

"It's good to see him go (to Columbus), which is a very good hockey team," Callahan said. "The way he makes you work and how he demands out of guys, it's going to be fun to see."

Can Tortorella make a similar impact in Columbus?

"Absolutely," Callahan said. "In New York, he came in and gave us an identity, having a blue-collar team, willing to do anything, work hard. I think he's going to try that with Columbus, it's his kind of style."


[Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2015 7:23pm]


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