After taking a commanding 2-0 series lead on the road in Washington, Columbus faltered, losing four-straight games to the Capitals, falling out of the Stanley Cup picture after just one very disappointing round.
Head Coach John Tortorella has actually been in the exact same position that he found himself in Monday. Back in 2009, as coach of the New York Rangers, Tortorella’s team jumped ahead to a 2-0 series lead on the road in Washington. The Capitals bounced back to win their opening round series, setting the stage for this postseason’s Tortorella collapse.
Prior to game six of the Blue Jackets’ first round series, the highly outspoken Tortorella made some interesting comments about Calvert’s 2017-18 season, ultimately comparing the Brandon, Manitoba product to a toilet, saying that his play went up and down more often than most toilet seats/lids do.
Calvert took the opportunity following locker clean-out Tuesday to take a stand against that comment, and voice his displeasure with some of the decisions made by Tortorella throughout the season. The 28-year-old said that the only thing going up and down this past season was the amount of minutes he was dished out by his coach.
After having played eight years for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Calvert’s time very well may be coming to an end. Becoming an unrestricted free agent this July will surely provide the former star Wheat King with some career options.
“I took a look around when we did the stick raise because you just never know,” Calvert said. “I enjoyed my eight years here but you never know what the future holds.”
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward added that he also took a long look around his home arena following the last game of the 2016-17 season with the expansion draft on his mind.
Whether Calvert returns to Columbus or pursues other avenues via free agency, coach Tortorella will certainly be back behind the Blue Jackets’ bench for the 2018-19 season, fulfilling his most recent contract extension.
The National Hockey League’s free agency period begins on July 1st, 2018.
By Carter Brooks
Photos by James Carey Lauder