John Tortorella seems to be up to his old ways. The oft controversial head coach of the Vancouver Canucks is back in the news after the league handed him a 15 day ban from the team for his actions on Saturday evening against the Calgary Flames.
Tortorella placed his fourth line out against Flames’ coach Bob Hartley’s fourth line and a line brawl ensued racking up 178 penalty minutes and eight players were ejected in the process.
After the first period, Tortorella’s actions are what caused the strict punishment handed down by the league on Monday. The ban prevents him near the team for six games and is without pay.
Bob Hartley was fined $25k for his actions in the line brawl.
Instead of voicing his displeasure in the media scrum after the game, he took it upon himself to visit the opponent locker room in an attempt to voice his displeasure to Hartley and company almost causing another brawl away from the ice.
Colin Campbell, Senior Executive VP of hockey operations for the NHL, issued a statement shortly after the suspension.
“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. 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.”
Essentially, he made the league look bad and caused a dangerous situation as well. This is not something new for Torts as he has four disciplinary actions taken against him by the league in the last 5 years with this being the fifth. One was the result of an altercation with a Washington Capitals fan, in which he squirted a water bottle at said fan and then threw it into the crowd and it struck another fan.
The Tortorella suspension is also two-fold as it sends a message to coaches around the league. Don’t make the league look bad and under no circumstances take on-ice stuff off ice by visiting the opposing locker room.
Hopefully Torts can come back with a clear head and help a Canucks team whose power is slowly dwindling in the West and get them into the playoffs.