Sports

Canucks' head coach John Tortorella suspended 15 days (6 games)

John Tortorella has been suspended for 15 days with no contact with the Vancouver Canucks for six games. - Screenshot from Canucks.com
John Tortorella has been suspended for 15 days with no contact with the Vancouver Canucks for six games.
— image credit: Screenshot from Canucks.com

Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella has been suspended for 15 days, with no contact with the Vancouver Canucks for six games.

Tortorella had an in-person hearing with the National Hockey League in New York City on Monday, over events that occurred in Vancouver's 3-2 shootout win over the Calgary Flames last Saturday.

A five-man one-on-one line brawl erupted just two seconds into the game, and Tortorella was caught by CBC's camera in some sort of altercation with Calgary Flames coaches and players, in the Alberta team's tunnel during the first intermission.

"We respect the decision made by the National Hockey League today," Canucks GM Mike Gillis said in a team statement on Monday. "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."

The '15 days' time frame starts from Sunday (yesterday) meaning the coach will miss six games behind the bench.

"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," NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said on Monday (NHL.com).

"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."

The NHL also fined Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley for $25,000 for his role in Saturday night's wild opening. The NHL blames Hartley for the actions of Flames' right-wing Kevin Westgarth, who instigated a "premeditated fight" against Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa.

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