Richards: "I Supported Jack."
Go to the biography section of Jack Johnson’s website, and you won’t find all too much regarding his NHL career. The Blue Jackets defenseman does, however, share his international resume:
2012 World Championship (captain)
2011 World Championship
2010 World Championship (captain)
2010 Olympic Games (silver)
2009 World Championship
2007 World Championship
2007 World Junior Championship (bronze)
2006 World Junior Championship
2005 World Under-18 Championship (gold)
2005 Five Nations Tournament (gold)
2004 Compuware Four Nations Cup (gold)
2004 World Under-18 Championship (silver)
2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
He has, in the past, been nicknamed Captain America, and frequently talks about how much he loves to represent his country.
Consequently, when he was left off Team USA’s roster for this year’s Olympics, he was a little upset, and he made that known in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch.
The paper says that some of his frustration may have been directed at Blue Jackets head man, and United States assistant coach, Todd Richards.
And naturally, word of that has made it back to the Columbus bench boss.
“I read it. I followed it. I and saw it,” Richards admitted. “I know he feels not fully supported, and the only thing I can say is I was part of the conversations, I was part of the discussions, and in all my discussions, I supported Jack.”
Richards said he had yet to communicate with Johnson since the article came out, but added that he has no doubt that Johnson will continue to play hard for the CBJ. After all, three of Johnson’s better games this season came after the United States roster was announced.
Is that because Johnson is being driven by the omission? The defenseman doesn’t think so.
“My motivation comes more from proving the people that love me and support me right, than the people that don’t, wrong. That’s exhausting,” he said.
“It’s hard to give up on the people that believe in you and love you. It’s easy to give up on the people who don’t believe in you, so that’s where my motivation comes from.”
Barring an injury, there will be no Blue Jackets on Team USA. There are, on the other hand, four Columbus players on Russia’s squad, and Fedor Tyutin is one of them.