AP NEWS

Emergency to keep Blue Jackets coach out of All-Star Game

January 26, 2017
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016, file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella, center, talks with linesman Brad Kovachik (71), with Scott Hartnell, left, listening during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh. Tortorella has returned to Ohio because of a family emergency, keeping him out of both Thursday night's game with Nashville and the NHL All-Star Game this weekend. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella has returned to Ohio because of a family emergency, keeping him out of both Thursday night’s game with Nashville and the NHL All-Star Game this weekend.

The Blue Jackets announced Tortorella’s departure Thursday.

“Regrettably, there is a personal matter that requires my immediate attention that will force me to leave the team temporarily and miss the All-Star Game in Los Angeles,” Tortorella said in a statement. “This decision was not made lightly as representing the Columbus Blue Jackets is something I am very proud of, but it is the right decision for my family and I.”

Tortorella said he hopes to be back with the Blue Jackets next week and appreciates the support of the team and the NHL.

Assistant coaches Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will take over in Tortorella’s absence.

Tortorella had been set to coach the Metropolitan Division at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles this weekend. The Blue Jackets went into Thursday nights’ game 32-11-4.