Tortorella 1st USA Coach To 500 NHL Wins [VIDEO]
23 other coaches have recorded 500 NHL wins but when former UMaine hockey player John Tortorella, now Columbus Blue Jackets coach, is the first U.S.-born coach to do it. The Blue Jackets did it with flare, a 4-3 overtime win vs Vancouver.
The 58-year-old Tortorella took over winless Columbus eight games into the season a year ago. Today he has the Blue Jackets near the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a 20-5-4 record.
His NHL coaching career started in Tampa Bay, including a 2004 Stanley Cup championship. Tortorella coaches the NY Rangers and Vancouver Canucks before landing in Columbus a year ago.
He was a winger for the UMaine Black Bears from 1978-81.