Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella will miss NHL All-Star Weekend, along with his team’s Thursday game at the Nashville Predators because of a family emergency.
There was no immediate word on who will replace Tortorella for the Metropolitan Division in the NHL All-Star Game, which will take place Sunday in Los Angeles. Assistant coaches Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will handle coaching duties for the Blue Jackets in Tortorella’s absence.
“Regrettably, there is a personal matter that requires my immediate attention that will force me to leave the team temporarily and miss the all-star game in Los Angeles,” Tortorella said in a release sent by the Blue Jackets. “This decision was not made lightly as representing the Columbus Blue Jackets is something I am very proud of, but it is the right decision for my family and I. I appreciate the support of our organization and the National Hockey League and my hope is to be back with the team next week.”
No details on the nature of the emergency were given, but according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, it does not involve Tortorella’s son Nick, who is a U.S. Army Ranger stationed abroad.
Columbus did skate Thursday morning in advance of their evening contest against the Predators and Tortorella addressed the media.
Tortorella has guided the surprising Blue Jackets to a 32-11-4 record this season and the second-best points total in the NHL with 68. The Blue Jackets held the top points percentage in the Metropolitan Division as of Jan. 10 at .769, which gave Tortorella the right to coach in the all-star game.
Columbus has scored the third-most goals per-game in the NHL this season at 3.30 and ranks fourth in goals allowed per-game at 2.32.
– – – – – – –
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS