June 22, 2024

Breaking news: Bay Lightnings caused the suspension of Flyers coach by NHL with a fine to be paid.

The Flyers will be without their head coach during critical games in the playoff push. John Tortorella has been suspended two games and fined $50,000 for his antics during the Flyers’ 7-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. He will miss Tuesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks and Thursday’s contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The money from the fine will go to the NHL Foundation.

Long known to be a fiery, unpredictable, ready-to-burst coach, Tortorella went off with colorful language and less colorful hand gestures toward the referees after the Lightning made it 4-0. The goal wasn’t the issue for Tortorella. The issue was the penalty that was called, allowing the home team to score on a power play. It was one of a few questionable calls. And the game was just over 10 minutes old. Ronnie Attard was called for his second penalty of the night. Or at least, he was after referee Brandon Schrader corrected himself when he gave the tripping call to the Lightning’s No. 23, Mikey Eyssimont. (Attard does wear Michael Jordan’s number, too.) The call itself was iffy. “It just looked like two guys skating, hustling for a puck and their skates hit together and one guy fell down and one didn’t. So I wasn’t very excited about it myself,” associate coach Brad Shaw said postgame.

During the Lightning power play, Garnet Hathaway was issued a 10-minute misconduct after he gave Anthony Cirelli a shove on the way to a defensive-zone faceoff. Definitely not something you see every day. Even from the press box, one could see Tortorella starting to boil.

Flyers head coach John Tortorella curses at ref, refuses to leave bench  after ejection: 'F--- off!' | Fox News

But then came the kicker when Brayden Point scored and Tortorella let loose on official Wes McCauley. Not one to shy away from his own grandiose gestures, McCauley handed the Flyers’ bench boss a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Tortorella dropped language not suitable for the youngsters watching on a Saturday night and was kicked out. Then he refused to leave until he finally gave in because if he didn’t the game wouldn’t continue. The fine and suspension are just the latest for the guy some have said has mellowed after more than 30 years of coaching. The 65-year-old coach has now been fined 13 times and suspended four.

Whether Tortorella actually has to pay is unknown. Flyers CEO Dan Hilferty told Al Morganti of NBC Sports Philadelphia he’d pay any fine the NHL levies. “I’m really proud of Torts for standing up for his/our team,” Hilferty said, according to a Morganti tweet. “This new era of Orange is about having each other’s backs. Last night, Torts had our collective backs. I respect any action the league might feel a need to take but if it includes a fine, I am paying it.”

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