Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has been fined $20,000 for comments following the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets game on Columbus on Sunday, Dec. 29, the National Hockey League announced today.
The comments came after Sunday’s shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Video: Fox Columbus
Additionally, Tortorella has been assessed a conditional fine of $25,000, which will be collected in the event of similar inappropriate behavior through Dec. 29, 2020.
The fine money goes to the NHL Foundation.
Tortorella was upset about an apparent goal by Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski at the horn ending the overtime period that seemed to seal a victory for the Blue Jackets.
However, the Blackhawks were called for a too many men on the ice penalty with around 19 seconds remaining. The clock ran down 1.1 seconds after the play was whistled dead, but the time wasn’t added back. Werenski put the puck behind Chicago goalie Robin Lehner on the ensuring power-play after the buzzer sounded. Had those 1.1 seconds been put back on the clock, the goal likely would have ended the game.
Instead, Chicago won in the shootout 3-2. During that shootout, Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo left the ice after trying to block a shot, and Tortorella said Korpisalo will be out “weeks” with the injury. Following an MRI on Monday it was determined that Korpisalo will miss 4-6 weeks.
Blue Jackets’ Tortorella fined $20,000. pic.twitter.com/gJNNqoTgSW
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 1, 2020
NHL vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in an email earlier this week that Tortorella’s comments were “unprofessional” and “unacceptable.” Campbell said in a statement that it was a judgment call by the referee, who checked with the clock operator before denying the Blue Jacket’s request to restore the time. He said NHL operations didn’t see the need to get involved.
A calmer and somewhat remorseful Tortorella told the media on Monday, “I ask my team to be disciplined, and I think it’s quite honestly a big part of our loss last night, was the lack of discipline with our team. I think the coach followed through with lack of discipline after the game with you guys,” Tortorella said (he’s “the coach”).
“If I have a problem with something that has gone on in the game, with whom or with what, I think it needs to be handled internally and not in the public manner as it was last night.”
By Jon Sorensen