Jan 20, 2014, 7:38 PM EST
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.”
Feb 26, 2015, 6:32 PM EST
Canucks requested the league take a closer look, but no evidence was found.
Feb 26, 2015, 6:27 PM EST
Feb 26, 2015, 6:18 PM EST
Head coach Joel Quenneville said it’s “all news to me.”
Feb 26, 2015, 5:30 PM EST
A familiar face goes back to the Toronto organization.
Feb 26, 2015, 4:49 PM EST
Buy hey, you never know.
Feb 26, 2015, 4:39 PM EST
Bold move from Florida GM Dale Tallon.
Feb 26, 2015, 4:35 PM EST
Looking forward to playing “a better role.”
Feb 26, 2015, 4:31 PM EST
Joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Chick Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya.
Feb 26, 2015, 4:06 PM EST
Former “CPR Line” line member is headed back to St. Louis.
Feb 26, 2015, 3:42 PM EST
A lost campaign for the veteran Sharks forward.
Feb 26, 2015, 3:04 PM EST
“People are getting excited for mid-range players.”
Feb 26, 2015, 2:31 PM EST
A couple of tweets are causing a stir in Chicago.
Feb 26, 2015, 2:24 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Feb 26, 2015, 2:02 PM EST
But, his agent says the organization has “respected our position of leaving negotiations until after the season.”
Feb 26, 2015, 1:42 PM EST
“We would love to have him as an Av for a long time.”
Feb 26, 2015, 1:09 PM EST
Willie Desjardins, playing it safe.
Feb 26, 2015, 1:02 PM EST
The two teams meet again, just 48 hours after the incident.
Feb 26, 2015, 12:43 PM EST
Just days after he said he’d report to AHL Norfolk.
Feb 26, 2015, 12:12 PM EST
Has 16 goals and 21 assists this season.
Feb 26, 2015, 11:48 AM EST
According to GM Dean Lombardi.
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