Skip to content

Torts reform: NHL suspends Tortorella 15 days — six games — for antics vs. Calgary

Jan 20, 2014, 7:38 PM EST

Referees get in the way of Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella as he screams at the Calgary Flames bench during first period NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia Saturday Jan. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward) AP

Vancouver head coach John Tortorella has been suspended 15 days — covering six regular season games — for his actions during Saturday’s game against the Flames, the league announced on Monday.

“Mr. Tortorella’s actions in attempting to enter the Calgary Flames locker room after the first period were both dangerous and an embarrassment to the League,” said NHL hockey ops VP Colin Campbell in a statement. “Coaches in the NHL bear the responsibility of providing leadership, even when emotions run high, and Mr. Tortorella failed in his responsibility to the game.”

Tortorella’s suspension is retroactive to Jan. 19 and runs through Feb. 2. According to the NHL, he is “not permitted to have any interaction with his club prior to, during or after games.” He will miss games against Edmonton, Nashville, Phoenix, Edmonton (again), Chicago and Winnipeg, eligible to return for a Feb. 3 date against Detroit.

The Canucks and GM Mike Gillis issued the following statement in response:

“We respect the decision made by the National Hockey League today to suspend John Tortorella for 15 days from Sunday, with no contact with the team for six games. 

“We would also like to acknowledge our organization’s full support for John and we look forward to having him back behind the bench soon.”

It’s worth noting this is the second time Tortorella’s been suspended by the league. He served a one-game ban during the 2009 playoffs for throwing a water bottle at a fan.

This latest incident occurred during the first intermission of a wild game, which began with a line brawl two seconds into the contest and culminated with Tortorella trying to go after Flames head coach Bob Hartley between periods — this after Tortorella spent much of the first yelling at Hartley from the bench.

There were 150 penalty minutes assessed to both sides (81 to Calgary, 69 to Vancouver) by the time the contest was less than five minutes old.

“I’m not proud of it,” Tortorella said afterward.

The crux of the issue was with Hartley’s player selection to start Saturday’s game — putting out Kevin Westgarth and Brian McGrattan — and Tortorella feeling the need to respond (by starting NHL penalty minutes leader Tom Sestito.)

Earlier today, a report from The Province claimed Westgarth was sent out to start the game to “make something happen.” If true, that would contradict the story that Hartley told after the game regarding his choice of starting players.

“Those guys are playing well for us,” Hartley said of Westgarth, McGrattand and company. “They got a goal last game. We’re not scoring many goals. We had zero intentions there.”

Hartley was fined $25,000 for his actions.

Latest Posts
  1. Poile moves to second on all-time GM wins list

    Dec 24, 2014, 8:59 PM EST

    David Poile AP

    Only Glen Sather is ahead of him.

  2. Overtime/shootout drama becoming the norm in Florida

    Dec 24, 2014, 7:51 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    “It’s like a little miracle down here.”

  3. Scoring change gives Nash his first Rangers hat trick

    Dec 24, 2014, 6:40 PM EST

    Nash goal

    The goal was initially credited to Martin St. Louis.

  4. Hextall impressed by Zepp, but cautious when predicting his future

    Dec 24, 2014, 5:54 PM EST

    Rob Zepp Getty Images

    Will he eventually earn a full-time NHL roster spot?

  5. Lightning returns top goalie prospect Vasilevskiy to AHL

    Dec 24, 2014, 4:31 PM EST

    Andrei Vasilevskiy Getty Images

    His stint with the Lightning was brief, but memorable.

  6. Video: PHT’s top five moments from 2014

    Dec 24, 2014, 3:28 PM EST

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Not surprisingly, the Kings feature prominently.

  7. Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’

    Dec 24, 2014, 2:22 PM EST

    San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    League rules that Jackman wasn’t expecting to be punched, “nor should he be.”

  8. Sens take next step towards new downtown arena

    Dec 24, 2014, 12:23 PM EST

    Eugene Melnyk Getty Images

    Owner Eugene Melnyk has called the potential move a “game-changer.”

  9. Is Loui Eriksson starting to get it together?

    Dec 24, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

    LouiEriksson Getty Images

    “We’re seeing some of his best hockey,” Claude Julien said.

  10. ‘Las Vegas is a hockey city,’ Foley tells prospective ticket buyers

    Dec 24, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

    LasVegasHockey

    And they’re planning to start taking deposits for the 2016-17 season.

  11. Avs ultimately plan on sending Pickard back to AHL

    Dec 24, 2014, 10:24 AM EST

    Calvin Pickard AP

    Semyon Varlamov’s shutout probably makes that a more comfortable idea.

  12. Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski

    Dec 24, 2014, 9:43 AM EST

    Matt Bartkowski, Marcus Foligno, Brian Gionta AP

    A controversial check left Buffalo winger Brian Gionta injured.

  13. Jagr: ‘A break? I don’t believe in this’

    Dec 24, 2014, 12:30 AM EST

    Jaromir Jagr Getty Images

    The Devils enter the Christmas holidays on a two-game skid.

  14. Tyler Johnson’s hat trick leads Lightning over Penguins

    Dec 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EST

    Carolina Hurricanes v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

    Tampa rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his second career win.

  15. Leafs reach 20 win mark in victory over Stars

    Dec 23, 2014, 10:30 PM EST

    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 10: Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Toronto Maple Leafs sprays water on his face during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on March 10, 2014 in Anaheim, California. Getty Images

    Bernier made 43 saves for the shutout

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (2760)
  2. S. Crosby (2446)
  3. B. Elliott (2283)
  4. C. Perry (2248)
  5. J. Howard (1871)
  1. J. Schwartz (1850)
  2. S. Varlamov (1777)
  3. S. Mason (1738)
  4. T. Johnson (1671)
  5. S. Weiss (1572)