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NHL suspends Canucks' Tortorella 15 days

The SportsXchange

Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella received a 15-day suspension from the NHL on Monday for his role in the aftermath of a brawl between his team and the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Tortorella's suspension, which lasts six games, is without pay.

Flames coach Bob Hartley was fined $25,000 but did not receive a suspension.

"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 in a statement. "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."

Campbell added, "We are holding Mr. Hartley responsible for the actions of Flames' right wing Kevin Westgarth, who took the game's opening face-off and attempted to instigate a premeditated fight with an unwilling opponent -- the Canucks' Kevin Bieksa."

The brawl took place just two seconds into the game when Hartley started the game with his fourth line and Tortorella countered with his fourth line. The moves went beyond gamesmanship when eight players engaged in a brawl and were ejected. Calgary took 77 minutes in penalties, and Vancouver was hit with 75.

A total of 204 penalty minutes were handed out in the game, which the Canucks won 3-2 in a shootout.

According to USA Today, assistant coach Mike Sullivan is expected to guide the Canucks during Tortorella's suspension, which will prevent him from having interacting with the team before, during or following games.

Tortorella will miss a road game Tuesday at the Edmonton Oilers; home games against the Nashville Predators (Thursday), the Phoenix Coyotes (Sunday), Edmonton (Jan. 27) and the Chicago Blackhawks (Jan. 29); and a road game against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 31. He will be able to rejoin the team for a Feb. 3 game in Detroit against the Red Wings.
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