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Report: NHL will hold in-person meeting with Tortorella

Jan 19, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT

The NHL isn’t just holding a hearing with Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella, it will happen in person, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

As Dreger notes, that opens the door for a more substantial fine and/or suspension for Tortorella, who inspired this confrontation in front of the Calgary Flames locker room on Saturday:

Tortorella was open about the line brawl that began last night’s Canucks – Flames game, but didn’t address the hallway altercation in his press conference after the win:

Today’s earlier PHT post points out one of the few examples of what you might call precedent for what happened, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted that Montreal’s Shayne Corson sat out five games for attempting to confront Ed Jovanovski in Vancouver’s locker room back in 1999.

Of course, that’s a player doing it, not a coach. On the other hand, the league’s player safety process has changed, so Brendan Shanahan could likely argue that such a comparison is largely irrelevant.

The two teams racked up more than 200 penalty minutes in the game, which the Canucks won 3-2 via a shootout. Vancouver’s next contest is a road match against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, so the league will have some (but not a lot) of time to mull over his punishment.

  1. strictlythedanks - Jan 19, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Better invite jamie “elbow spasms” benn as well.

    • strictlythedanks - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      appafrently most of you people suffer from retardation

      • esracerx46 - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:36 PM

        Nope just you. When worrying about thumbs up or down, and chastising people that don’t agree with your opinion…before calling them mentally retarded you should probably spell check. It makes you look like an ass otherwise.

  2. esracerx46 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:01 PM


  3. nicofthenorthstar - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    The league should bring a massive hammer down on teams involved in line brawls. What an embarrassment to the sport.

    • joey4id - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      Joey, is that you? 😅

      • imleftcoast - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        What’s Torts mad about? Don’t pretend to be oblivious. Calgary put its fourth line out to start the game. A 6’6 center who had never played a minute in the NHL. What else could Vancouver do, but put out its fourth line?

        When Carlyle put out Kessel against John Scott, that was just setting up what followed. If Torts puts out the Sedins and they get pummeled, is the NHL somehow going to undo that? Is anyone not going to second guess Torts if that happens? Has anyone on here ever played a game of hockey at a competitive level?

    • charlieconway96 - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Why exactly is it an embarrassment?
      1: Fighting has been a part of the game forever, its not unexpected. Even non hockey fans know this. It probably brings in more random fans than it turns away (they just don’t come to hockey blogs and pound on a keyboard).

      2: The vast majority of the players and coaches are in favor of it.

      3: There is only one other time where a crowd is as loud as when their team scores a goal and its during a fight. Thus proving that the majority of fans like it.

      4: Go watch basketball. “No touching!”

      • sunderlanding - Jan 20, 2014 at 5:14 AM

        Great comment. The Anti-Fighting movement is a PR stunt at best. None of those cowards have the players best intentions in mind.

      • joey4id - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        Why was Torts all up in arms if fighting has always been part of the game?

      • charlieconway96 - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Thats actually a good question Joey, considering the fact that he’s pulled the same stunt himself multiple times. I’m guessing that he only likes losing players off the opening drop if its his decision. Might actually be a decent theory considering the fact that he seems to be a bit of a control freak.

  4. nicofthenorthstar - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Agreed. Pass please buddy.

  5. bleedrangerblue - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Lame excuse for Torts reasoning. This happened with Rangers last year and it was with his starting lineup. Torts sucks !!!!

    • 7mantel - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Get your facts straight , he complained about the Devils line up !

      • esracerx46 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        It happened twice with the Rangers and Devils. The more memorable one was the Devils doing what the Rangers did to them.

      • esracerx46 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:56 PM

  6. narfmoo12 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    So why have a 4th line if you’re not allowed to play them to start the game?

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      It wasn’t just that it was the fourth line.

      Kevin Westgarth lined up at centre so he could drop ’em with a rookie, the guy had 12 career faceoffs at that point (technically 13 now).

      Furthermore Hartley has done stuff like this before (Tortorella would know as they coached in the same division – ATL and TB) and Westgarth contradicted Hartley’s BS about them scoring a goal recently after the game saying they were put out there to create some jump and he’d ask Lain to fight before the faceoff.

      As for when it became illegal to ice a line full of goons in certain situations, how about this year when Ron Rolston got fined for it?

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        Isn’t that better than starting a defenseman at centre? I personally hate staged fights, which this turned out to be, but I truly think that if the Canucks had used a skilled line the escalation doesn’t happen. Ideally both teams get fined and the coaches each get 1 game for how ridiculous this turned out to be, but Tortorella needs to face longer discipline for going to the Flames dressing room, you just can’t have that.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

        The Canucks didn’t start a defenseman at centre, Lain was there to take the draw and Bieksa waved him out rather than having him get mauled right off the faceoff as that was clearly what was going to happen.

        I don’t think the Canucks could take the risk of icing a skill line. For starters Henrik Sedin is badly hurt and that means they were basically down to two (dependable) lines already. You lose Kesler or Richardson to injury or to game misconducts and you are a one line team.

        You can say you believe nothing would have happened but would you bet your job on it? Because if Westgarth took a swing at Henrik and he aggravated his injury or worse yet suffered a new one then you can bet Torts days in Vancouver would be numbered. Friedman wrote about this and he said every NHL coach he contacted would have done the same thing.

        Should Tortorella have gone down the tunnel to the Flames room, of course not. He should get a massive fine and I guess everyone thinks he should get suspended as well.

        Personally I think Hartley should get a fine for the lineup selections, Tortorella should get a bigger fine (say twice as much) for going down the tunnel and maybe a game or two off, the Canucks should get an even bigger fine for not having personnel around to keep the two teams separated.

      • imleftcoast - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        If the Canucks put out a skill and those players were injured in fights, who would you be holding responsible this morning? Don’t be a hypocrite Atwater.

  7. barkar942 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Remember this one?

    • 7mantel - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      rangers had last change ! He changed lines to match Devils !

      • nj666 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        just like last night… he’s a hypocrite because he’s done this twice and then blamed the other team…

    • 950003cups - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:00 AM

      How awesome was it that after 2 incidents like this, first being Torts using his goons to start a game in NJ, then Devils revenge in this one, that they actually met in he EC FINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 950003cups - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Free Tortsy!
    No justice! No peace!
    Tortorella is the victim of a vast east coast conspiracy!

  9. comeonnowguys - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Torts is doing no favors for the pro-fighting side of the argument with this clown school. And to see him chest-thumping and pointing to the other bench while this his happening like he just won something by doing this? He’s unhinged and he needs to be suspended for multiple games.

  10. heynyc61 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    The hearing should be with the refs and the replay people for embarrassing the league with that horrible off the net goal in Detroit. It questions the integrity

  11. Wineshard - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    I support his decision to not put the Sedins out because there is no telling what the mindset of the Flames is with Burke as the acting GM. Also, McGrattan got booted from the last game for an elbow/charging on his first shift.

    Just imagine what the fallout would have been if he had Henrik take a shot from McGrattan with nobody there to stick up for him.

    The locker room antics are totally uncalled for though and deserve supplementary discipline, but the brawl was definitely a Flames initiated event – not that there is anything wrong with that.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      The MGrattan play was actually several games ago (I think more than a week actually) and was a weak call since the nhl didn’t review it in anyway. I believe it was also towards the middle of the first.

      Calgary had their 4th line on to try and spark some passion and energy of a team that had absolutely none against Winnipeg on Thursday. If Vancouver counters with a top line, the Flames either make a quick change or the Canucks get a significant advantage, instead Vancouver decided to match with fighters, and this is what happened.

      But all that aside, as garbage as the entire thing was, the Tortorella suspension comes from him trying to get into the Flames dressing room.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        Is that why Westgarth took the draw? He was going to spark some passion and energy as your faceoff specialist?

        There were a handful of fights going before the puck touched the ice, Bob Hartley knows the rules and he knew he was going to goad a team sick of being pushed around into getting a handful of players thrown out.

        Great maneuver by Hartley as it brought the Canucks closer to the Flames level (ie. the bottom of the NHL) and we got a sloppy, crap game as a result.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        The Canucks are currently where the Flames were 3 years ago, a mediocre team desperately thinking they’re a contender when they’re nowhere near the top teams in the conference, the difference between them and the top 4 is Grand Canyon wide, frankly the Canucks are a lot closer to the Flames right now than they are the Hawks, Ducks, Kings or Blues. The Canucks are slowly going to keep sinking while they try to patch things together to win with the current aging core (Sedins and Luongo) but they’re not good enough and lack the pieces in the organization to reload with youth, they’ll have to either trade the very few prospects they have and draft picks to keep it going or they’ll have to admit what they are and fix things correctly, given Mike Gillis’ current track record I would expect the worst.

        At least the Flames had a forward take the draw. If the Canucks start a skill line, the Flames either make a change quickly or they give up several scoring chances.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:12 AM

        Haha, sure.

        The Canucks are clearly retooling but fortunately for their fans they reached a vastly higher peak than that Flames team did, they were based much more around actual skill and can hopefully use that going forward, and they started to get younger much earlier than the Flames did.

        But I mean as a Canucks fan I’m just thankful I don’t have to watch Darryl Sutter run my team into the ground of Jay Feaster talk about how he didn’t sign on for a rebuild instead of actually addressing anything. Hopefully for your sake Brian Burke is considerably better at hiring GMs than he is at finding NHL goaltenders..

  12. deezenucks - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    I don’t think half of you even understand the situation last night and are just trying to dump on torts. He didn’t initiate that last night folks, that was on the Flames. Haters gonna hate couldn’t be more appropriate.

    • sabatimus - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:15 PM

      If Calgary starts the 4th line, Tortorella thinks that it’s his job to “protect his skill players” by starting his own 4th line. That’s an idiotic statement by Torts. Does he really think that the 4th line was going to start a line brawl with the top line? Roenicke was right on when he said that Torts should have started his best line in order to get some scoring done early.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        You see how Henrik left the game in obvious pain after a nothing play?

        We saw Scott go after Kessel earlier this year, even if he wasn’t going to hospitalize him you can’t chance it with an injured player like Hank. Can’t do it with Kesler either because once they start tossing guys and your best (healthy) forward gets the boot you’re really in the weeds.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      And that excuses his first intermission actions?

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM


  13. csilojohnson - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    As much as i dislike torts…
    He did not iniciate that brawl.
    The Flames never intended on winning that faceoff. The 4th line was put out to fight. That is evident by the lack of effort the flames center put into faceoff.
    Based on that it was a good call to start his 4th line. Otherwise it wouldve been the Sedins being ejected or beat up.
    That being said. Im sure the Flames employed that strategy based on the lack of disipline the Canucks have shown recently.

    • joey4id - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      Why the hell would he try to win the faceoff when the opposing player on the draw is a d man who goes by the name of Bieksa? Need i say more?

      • thesheabutterfactory - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        Bieksa stepped up because Calgary lines up a goon who’s taken 3 faceoffs all season against a rookie in his first NHL game. Good on Bieksa that was the right thing to do. That’s good leadership. He doesn’t even try and fight Westgarth watch the replay. Calgary wanted blood for some reason, there’s no other reason to put Westgarth at centre. The Flames clearly dropped the gloves first. No way you put an already injured Sedins on the ice. Torts matching with his fourth line was the only move. But he went way too far and should be suspended.

      • joey4id - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:02 PM

        And what did Sestito want from Nolan or Jackman when he savagely jumped them?

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        Ahh joey. Back on your hobby horse. You’re wrong about the facts so just go back to fights in previous games, nice move.

  14. Wineshard - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    You guys have an opinion looking for an application. Pathetic. Bieksa came in when he saw Westgarthal was clearly going to drop the gloves with Kellan Lain in his first NHL game. He did the right thing and Westgarthal still went out of his way to go after him. Joey you are absolutely clueless and clearly have some sort of agenda.

    Tortorella’s two mistakes were putting Lain in the starting lineup given the Flames starters, and going to the locker room. The rest was fine.

    No way should he put the Sedins out there against McGrattan and Westgarthal with the rib problem, McGrattan’s recent game misconduct in the last game on the first shift and the truculence mantra slammed down by Burke. Period.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      Again the game misconduct you keep going on about wasn’t in the last game nor his first shift of the game it did happen in, and was one of the weaker game misconduct calls you’ll see this year. McGrattan isn’t a dirty player (as evidenced by the fact he won’t keep punching a defenseless player in a fight) but he is a fighter, if Vancouver had started skilled players McGrattan may have looked for an opportunity for a big hit, but he wouldn’t have grabbed one of the Sedins and started pummelling him Sesito style.

  15. Wineshard - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Do people read comments or if it is longer than a CNN ticker does it just not register? Do you have a moth-like attention span or what?

  16. Wineshard - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    I was at that game. McGrattan had 41 seconds of ice time 2:43 into the first when he was kicked out. Alberts has yet to play, so take that for what it is worth.

    Please try and get your facts straight before posting air.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      The Flames last game before Vancouver, McGrattan had a first period fight, no game misconduct.

  17. luz56 - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Finally we get tort reform here in the USA … What a piece of work he is…

  18. ducksk - Jan 19, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    A$$ clown. No excuse for torts. Shame on all involved. Embarrassing to the game.

  19. bigoldorcafromvan - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Everyone is saying Calgary started their forth line. What they started was a collection of knuckledraggers that would fight, and Hartley knew that. Was his plan from the getgo. Westgarth isn/t even a centreman. LW/RW/ But Torts should not have gone to the Calgary Room.

  20. ducksk - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    FYI. You that love the goon part of the game most likely were the yearbook editor or in band. We all have an opinion, I hate goon hockey. Lest we forget boogey and probie. Looking forward to Olympics, it’s a great game without idiocy.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jan 20, 2014 at 6:28 AM

      Referring to Bob Probert as nothing more than a goon proves you know nothing about the game. You don’t like fighting because you don’t understand it’s role in the game… at all.

  21. cspsrbums - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    I can’t believe any organization would keep him. He is a disgrace to the NHL. Coaches confronting opponents outside there locker what black eye for hockey. Throw the book at him and/or remove him for life,dude has issues.

  22. cspsrbums - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    He initiated the night before but not last night. What’s the difference he is a clown

  23. amityvillefun - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Sedins are made of balsa wood. Gotta protect them!

    “A coward dies a thousand deaths where the brave man dies but once.”

    If they had some nuggets, they’d have played against the Calgary goons and made them pay where it counts – on the scoreboard. Instead, the sisters inserted their tampons and sat on the bench.

    • amityvillefun - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Maybe the soft Sedins need a new nickname:

      “The Cotton Ponies.”

      This message is sponsored by Tampax. Stay fresh while sitting on the bench!

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Yawn. How many completely pointless fistfights have you gotten into while nursing broken ribs?

        I’m guessing zero but if you were dumb enough to actually do that it would certainly be consistent with intellectual limitations it must take to post most of the dreck I see under your name on this site.

      • amityvillefun - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        Here is an extra tampon for you as well.

  24. amityvillefun - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Blah blah blah. It’s a joke.

    And I’ve gotten into plenty of fights, thank you very much. Which is why I have no patience for cowards. A fight won’t kill them. In fact, it might earn them a bit of respect!

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      That’s not what I asked, but at least it reinforces my suspicion that head injuries might be a factor in the comments you leave..

  25. rwalms - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    BOTH John Tortorella and the Calgary coach deserve to be disciplined. Tortorella also needs to attend a course in “anger management”.

  26. skr213 - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Most of these comments are about the line brawl. That’s not what the hearing is going to be about. The hearing is about him trying to go to confront the Flames in the hall between periods.

  27. muckleflugga - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    it would appear amityvillefun keeps a good supply of tampons at the ready…

    you never can tell

  28. lilgurgi - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    This could all be made impossible by putting a gate in the hallway between locker rooms. The Flyers did it after Paul Holmgren and Wayne Cashman went at it between periods in the old Spectrum. It became known as Holmgren Gate in Flyers lore.

  29. jrus14 - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Very wise decision for suspending him for 15 days john tortarella needs to control his actions over trying to assault a head coach

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