Looks like the NHL decided to come down hard on head coach John Tortorella after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames were involved in a brawl to begin their game this past Saturday. Even after everyone thought we had seen everything that could possibly happen in the game, Tortorella insisted on trying to enter the Flames dressing room during the first intermission. For his actions Tortorella has been suspended 15 days, which will mean he will miss the Canucks next 6 games, and is not permitted to make any contact with the team during his suspension.
NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said that John Tortorella’s actions “were both dangerous and an embarrassment to the League” and said that coaches in the NHL are supposed to be leaders and lead by example, and obviously Tortorella set out a bad example in this scenario. Fortunately, the NHL did not only come down with the hammer just Mr. Tortotella; but also Flames head coach Bob Hartley, who was fined $25,000 for “conduct prejudicial”. The Flames head coach started right wing Kevin Westgarth at the beginning of the game, and off the faceoff, instigated a fight against Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa who wanted no part in an ill-advised fight.
Tortorella obviously has a history of erratic behaviour, and going off on rampages, which probably had an effect on how long his suspension was going to be. The Canucks knew what they were getting when they signed the former Rangers coach this past summer, and we finally saw the good old Torts this past Saturday. With the Canucks in somewhat of a midseason slump at the moment, the team may finally have something to use as a rallying cry, and quickly get their season back on track before it is all said and done.
Well done Torts, you did us all proud and sent a message league wide – don’t play games with the Canucks!
Written by: Hamed Amiri