John Tortorella, Maple Leafs and NHL coaching salary explosion – Yahoo Sports

The NHL salary cap prevents franchises like the Toronto Maple Leafs from using bottomless financial reverses to create the best team money can buy, on the ice.

But as they’ve shown in the last few seasons: There’s no salary cap on managerial compensation, and there’s no salary cap on coaches.

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Mike Babcock’s $6.25 million annual salary infamously reset the bar for NHL head coaches. “A new arms race among head coaches has commenced. The starting gun has gone off,” agent Allan Walsh told the Canadian Press in 2015, after the deal was announced.

That deal begot Joel Quenneville making $6 million annually and then Claude Julien getting $5 million to rescue the Montreal Canadiens and so forth.

What’s fascinating about this escalation is that there’s no stuffing the genie back in the bottle. (Although we look forward to the rap song about attempting it in Guy Richie’s “Aladdin.”) The next lockout could roll back escalating salaries, or put further controls in place to protect general managers from themselves. That’s not going to affect coaching salaries.

Which means teams with far shallower pockets than the Maple Leafs are going to have to ante up for their coaches.

Which brings us to the Columbus Blue Jackets and the guy who just won the Jack Adams Award last month.

Here’s some interesting stuff from Aaron Portzline on John Tortorella:

Tortorella’s situation bears watching. He’s entering the final year of his contract, a five-year, $10 million deal signed with Vancouver in 2013. Since the Blue Jackets hired him in October 2015, they’ve paid only $750,000 of his $2 million annual salary, with the Canucks picking up the rest. In other words, the Blue Jackets have been paying less for their coach than just about any other team in the NHL. Even the $2

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