Blue Jackets' John Tortorella fined $20K for ripping officiating

ESPN News Services2 Minute Read

The NHL has fined Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella $20,000 for comments he made ripping the officiating after the team's overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Columbus on Sunday.

The league announced the fine Wednesday. Additionally, Tortorella was assessed a conditional fine of $25,000 that the league will collect if he behaves similarly through Dec. 29 of this year. The fine money goes to the NHL Foundation.

At issue was an apparent goal by Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski at the horn ending the overtime period that seemed to seal a victory over the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks were called for a too many men on the ice penalty with 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, Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo left the ice after trying to block a shot, and Tortorella said Korpisalo will be out "weeks'' with the injury.

"[The league office in] Toronto doesn't step in, refs don't do their freaking job and now we lose a game and we lose our goalie,'' Tortorella said in his postgame news conference, which lasted 45 seconds. He left without taking questions. "So the chain of events, if it was done right, is that we don't lose our goalie and we win the hockey game. So all the goddamn technology, right? The technology and getting things right ... the stubbornness tonight, by the officials and by the league and Toronto, however it's supposed to goddamn work, screws us. "It's ridiculous. I'm not taking any goddamn questions."

Tortorella said Monday he regretted airing his complaints publicly instead of handling it behind the scenes.

NHL vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in an email 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 Jackets' request to restore the time. He said NHL operations didn't see the need to get involved.

In other injury news, the Blue Jackets placed rookie forward Alexandre Texier on injured reserve with a lumbar stress fracture suffered in Tuesday's win against the Panthers.

The 20-year-old Texier will be out indefinitely, the team said. He has six goals and seven assists, both highs among rookies on the team.

In the corresponding roster move, Columbus recalled center Justin Scott from its AHL affiliate in Cleveland.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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