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Canucks GM says Torts’ emotions got the best of him


James OBrien

Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis spoke on head coach John Tortorella’s behalf on Tuesday regarding the 15-day (or six-game) suspension the fiery bench boss received.

The gist: Torts was a little too fiery, and that boiled over into that scene in front of the Calgary Flames’ locker room on Saturday.

“Torts is extremely disappointed in what happened. He accepts his punishment and we’ll move on,” Gillis said. “He’s an emotional guy and it got the better of him. He admitted that and the commissioner [Gary Bettman] accepted it.”

While there’s the chance that Tortorella may already be in hot water/on thin ice, there’s also the possibility that the two-week absence might have indirect benefits.

Despite leaving some fractured relationships behind in New York, there really wasn’t much/any turnaround time from the Rangers firing him to the Canucks hiring him. Moments like these can make situations worse, yet they can also give a coach a chance to gain a little rest and renewed perspective.

Hard-driving St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock has said that a little time away from being the bench boss did him some good, for one. While Torts won’t receive the same amount of time off, there’s at least a chance one could find a silver lining.

For more on Torts and other NHL issues, check out the latest PHT Extra.

Update: The Canucks won their first game with Tortorella on hiatus, as Roberto Luongo looked impressive in a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins