NHL Makes Determination Regarding Flyers Coach John Tortorella’s Punishment

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The NHL has confirmed that Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella has been suspended for two games and will face a $50,000 fine for not exiting the game following his ejection on March 9.

As the Flyers fell behind 4-0 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period, referees Wes McCauley and Brandon Schrader decided to take action against Tortorella’s constant arguments after Garnet Hathaway’s game misconduct. 

Tortorella incurred a minor penalty and was subsequently ejected from the game.

Tortorella made it clear to the referees on several occasions that he had no intention of leaving the bench and would remain in his position. 

This is a rare occurrence that has not happened frequently in the past, causing the referees to delay the game until he finally exited.

Flyers Support John Tortorella After Ejection

NHL-Makes-Determination-Regarding-Flyers-Coach-John-Tortorella's-Punishment
PITTSBURGH, PA – FEBRUARY 25: Head coach John Tortorella of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on during the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 25, 2024 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Since Saturday night’s ejection, the Flyers have shown support for Tortorella, with team governor Dan Hilferty even offering to cover his fine if one was issued.

Brad Shaw, an assistant for the Flyers, informed the media on Sunday morning that Tortorella was only showing his displeasure with the calls and did not actually threaten the on-ice officials. 

Captain Sean Couturier mentioned that his head coach “didn’t say much,” according to Charlie O’Connor of PHLY Sports.

Philadelphia is now just four points ahead of the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division, with the Islanders having three games in hand on the Flyers. 

The team will be missing their top candidate for the Jack Adams award during a two-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs as they aim to stay competitive in the playoff race.

Tortorella’s Second NHL Suspension

It’s quite uncommon for a coach to be suspended by the league in the NHL. Many suspensions are issued due to conflicts with referees or fans. 

Harry Neale holds the record for the longest coach suspension in league history, receiving a 10-game suspension in 1982 for engaging physically with a fan.

This marks Tortorella’s second suspension. In 2014, he received a 15-day suspension (six games) for trying to enter the Calgary Flames’ dressing room while coaching the Vancouver Canucks. 

Tortorella’s frustration stemmed from Hartley sending out a physical lineup for the opening faceoff, which Tortorella responded to in kind. 

Hartley appeared to be seeking a physical confrontation, which Tortorella did not approve of.

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