The NHL announced Monday that it had suspended Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella for 15 days and fined Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley $25,000 for their actions in Saturday night’s game, which began with a line brawl.
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Tortorella was angry at Hartley during the line brawl and was seen shouting at him from the Canucks’ bench. Hartley wasn’t interested in an argument with the Vancouver coach, and during the first intermission, Tortorella confronted the Flames outside their locker room at Rogers Arena.
“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 vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in a statement.
As part of his suspension, Tortorella cannot have any contact with his team through Feb. 2.
What Tortorella did was unacceptable, but Hartley deserves just as much blame for the incident. The visiting team submits its starting lineups first before each contest, and Hartley’s decision to start his enforcers and fourth-line players left Tortorella no choice but to put his tough guys on the ice for the opening shift.
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