At the drop of the first puck in Hockey Night In Canada’s battle between Western Conference rivals the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, gloves were dropped, punches were thrown, and coaches were distraught. When the first period bell rang to signify the conclusion of a heated opening frame, Canucks head coach John Tortorella approached the Calgary Flames dressing room and proceeded to lose his cool. There’s video.
Blame has been directed at both coaches. Flames bench boss Bob Hartley is accused of purposely stirring up trouble by icing his most pugilistic players to begin the game. A sneaky tactic, one may conclude, however, it takes two to tango, and so often it is the retaliator who shoulders the brunt of the blame in situations such as this. Therefore, the NHL’s executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, Colin Campbell is reported to be meeting with Tortorella today. Perhaps, Torts will face discipline for bombarding the Flames’ dressing room in an irate state, following the first period Saturday night. Joining Campbell at the hearing will be the National Hockey League’s two boss men, commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly. Oh to be a fly on the wall.
Gary Bettman and Bill Daly also attending this mornings discipline hearing for John Tortorella.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 20, 2014
Tortorella is known as a hot head, a reputation he has earned through countless rants directed at New York media during his tenure with the Rangers. His most famed foe, Larry Brooks of the New York Post, or Brooksie, as Torts calls him, reminds us that the Canucks head coach has been in a similar situation before, although without the intermission mission. The following is an excerpt from Larry Brooks article entitled: “Suspension looms for Tortorella after sparking brawl”
“Devils coach Peter DeBoer started a fourth line of Eric Boulton, Ryan Carter and Cam Janssen on Mar. 19. Tortorella countered with Brandon Prust, Mike Rupp and Brandon Dubinsky, but had defenseman Stu Bickel, who had never before taken a faceoff, move up for the draw against Carter to protect Dubinsky, whose nose was busted in a fight with the Devils center two weeks earlier in Newark.
Quote courtesy of the New York Post, references an altercation that took place at Madison Square Garden in 2012. Read full article here.
There is little precedent regarding such matters, and certainly nothing recent that has been caught on camera for the whole world to scrutinize on social media. If Tortorella is to be suspended for his hallway visit to the outer atmosphere of the Flames dressing room, it’s difficult to guess how severe the penalty will be.