‘It was absolute stupidity’: Torts admits he’s ‘totally embarrassed’ by 2014 incident with Hartley


You don’t have to be a fan of the Canucks or Flames to remember what happened on January 18, 2014.

John Tortorella, who was coaching Vancouver at the time, wasn’t pleased with Bob Hartley after the Flames coach decided to send his fourth line of Brian McGratten, Kevin Westgarth and Blair Jones to start the game.

Torts responded by sending his fourth line on the ice, and a brawl ensued.

During the first intermission, a heated Tortorella tried barging into Calgary’s dressing room in search of Hartley, but he was stopped by Flames players and staff (top of the page).

Why is this coming up again two years later? Well, Tortorella’s Blue Jackets are taking on Hartley’s Flames tonight.

Surprisingly, Tortorella answered questions about the incident and predictably, he’s not proud of his actions.

“I know the question’s coming up, and I will answer it this one time,” Tortorella said, per The Dispatch. “My heart was in the right place in what I thought I was doing at that time. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking clearly.

“But I cared about my team at that point in time. I didn’t like what happened at the beginning of the game, and it was absolute stupidity how I went about it. My heart was in the right place, but my mind … it’s inexcusable and I’m totally embarrassed by it.”

Tortorella ended up being fined and he was suspended for 15 days by the NHL. Harley was fined $25,000.

When asked about his relationship with the Blue Jackets coach, Hartley said the hate isn’t real.

“With us, it’s almost like WWF wrestling,” Hartley told The Calgary Herald. “We should pull on the tights, maybe. We pretend we hate each other, then we see each other in the morning and we always talk. Hey, Torts competes for his team. I compete for my team. We battle. We’re in the ring. We’re slugging it out.”